Fiji to host regional trade talks in Dec
November 7, 2014 1:57 am
In a milestone achievement, Fiji will host the10th round of PACER plus negotiations next month in Nadi.
Permanent Secretary for Trade, Shaheen Ali says Fiji will have an opportunity to clearly articulate its position as well as recommend how the agreement can be improved for the benefit of all forum island countries.
Ali says Fiji is making significant strides in the high level negotiations.
“Fiji is hosting the next intercessional in Nadi so all the parties is coming to Fiji to have their meeting, this is the 10th round of negotiations that will be held, as you know will be held, as you know FIji only joined at the 9th round in Wellington, so the negotiations are progressing and at the same after joining the negotiations, Fiji has commenced its consultations with our stake holders on the various aspects of Pacer plus agreement, various chapters that have been progressed, the progress has been substantial and some of those chapters have been concluded.”
With a home advantage, Ali says the impending round of trade talks will set Fiji up to better inform pacer plus parties as well as strengthen a collective Pacific agenda.
“Fiji can clearly articulate its positions on various aspects of the agreement, like the investment chapter, the services chapter as well as the foods chapter and some of the other chapters that have been discussed already, like the technical barriers to trade and sanitary and photosanitary measures, biosecurity requirements”.
On the European Union led Economic Partnership Agreement, Ali says technical discussions are ongoing, but there is a stumbling block with PNG choosing to be an observer and refraining from discussions on a comprehensive EPA.
He adds, two major trade meets will be heading to Fiji next month, the Pacific ACP trade ministers and trade officials meeting which will better inform Fiji’s position and the progress of overall talks with other forum member countries.