PLMAM calls for expansion of seasonal workers schemes

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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

Joseph Ma’ahanua Trade Commissioner under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the external Trade.

PACIFIC nations have agreed to increase their focus on visa issues, information sharing and superannuation at a regional labour mobility meeting in Honiara.

The Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting (PLMAM) wrapped up its two-day meeting yesterday which was attended by delegates from across the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.

Trade Commissioner, Joseph Ma’ahanua from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade told the Island Sun that the meeting had been productive.

Commissioner Ma’ahanua said the soon to be released statement of outcomes from the second annual PLMAM looked at enhancing seasonal workers schemes in Australia and New Zealand.

“The outcome statement is centred around issues on improving access in areas of visa, areas relating to how superannuation could be fitted into the schemes, areas relating to information sharing and so forth,” he said.

Ma’ahanua said the key issue for the region was offering more opportunities for people from Pacific islands to increase their income and return home with skills.

Ma’ahanua said he hoped the discussions at the meeting would be taken on board by regional countries and serve as a launch pad for an expansion of labour mobility schemes.

The PLMAM is held as part of the PACER Plus regional trade agreement but the outcomes of the meeting are not binding on regional countries.

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