Annual Report — Tue 29 Mar 2011 to Thu 29 Mar 2012
Inaugural Annual Report of the OCTA for 2011 - 2012
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Annual Report — Mon 29 Mar 2010 to Mon 28 Mar 2011
Executive Summary: the First Year in Review
The Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) was established to provide the Pacific Forum Island Countries (FICs) with sustainable access to independent and trusted advice on trade matters, particularly in PACER Plus trade and economic negotiations with Australia and New Zealand. The FICs’ ownership of and control over the OCTA is guaranteed in its Constitution.
The agreement to establish the OCTA was a precondition to the agreement to commence PACER Plus negotiations. The establishment and work of the OCTA reflects the strong need and demand for independent policy analysis and advice, effective coordination, facilitation and by-demand appropriate representation for the FICs in trade negotiations.
The OCTA officially started operating on 29 March 2010, when Dr Christopher Noonan, the first Chief Trade Adviser (CTA), took up his position at the Port Vila-office. Since then the OCTA has continued to grow in strength. By the end of the first year, the OCTA has a staff of five consisting of the CTA, two trade policy advisers, a trade policy officer and an administration manager. One of the two trade policy advisers chose not to renew her contract beyond 28 March 2011.
The OCTA began operations with a one year interim arrangement with the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS), ending 28 March 2011. After extensive consultation with member governments, the OCTA applied for its incorporation with the Constitution as signed by all members of the OCTA Governing Board, with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission.
On 17 March 2011, the OCTA was incorporated under the Law of Vanuatu as a charitable association. The OCTA has since been operating as an independent legal entity. The management and governing structure of the OCTA is detailed in the Constitution and subsequent corporate policies.
In the first year of OCTA operations, its Governing Board met twice, in April and May 2010. OCTA has organised four FIC Trade Officials’ Meeting on PACER Plus (FICTOMPP); two in April 2010, one in November 2010, and one in March 2011, and one FIC Trade Ministers’ Meeting in April 2010. Papers and presentations have been prepared, circulated and presented. The OCTA has also supported the FICs in three PACER Plus Officials’ Meetings (PPOM) with their Australia and New Zealand counterparts in April 2010, November 2010 and March 2011, and the Forum Trade Officials’ Meeting (FTOM) and Forum Trade Ministers’ Meeting (FTMM) in April 2010.
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