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Fiji ready to trade more with Australia and New Zealand

February 13, 2020 6:20 am
rade Minister Premila Kumar says Fiji is ready for more significant bilateral agreements that further enhance economic growth. [Source: Fijian Government]

Trade Minister Premila Kumar says Fiji is ready for more significant bilateral agreements that further enhance economic growth.

Speaking on the theme, Pacific trading nations from surviving to thriving, the Minister made it known that while there are benefits from regional agreements, Fiji’s development has progressed significantly.

Kumar says as such, opening up trade volume with our closest neighbors is a step in the right direction.

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“Fiji is now ready to enter into a bilateral trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand, that’s my view.  The reason been that we are different from the rest of the Pacific. And if you look at the statistics, it speaks for itself.  So we cannot be tied down with other regional trade agreements.”

Kumar says traditional agreements have stifled economic growth.

As an example, the Trade Minister says Fiji is able to export 59 agricultural products to New Zealand, but only 29 to Australia.

She says despite the Australian market been significantly bigger with more demand, the absence of pathways is because of old trade agreements.

Kumar says this is why her priority is to work on more development focused partnerships.

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