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Ministry struggling to meet import deduction target

October 25, 2012 12:15 am

The Agriculture Ministry is struggling to meet its target of reducing imports by 30 per cent by 2014.

The Ministry didn’t meet its target of a 10 per cent reduction last year and current trends have also indicate it won’t meet the 10 per cent reduction target this year.

On a talkback show on Gold FM, Principal Economist Pauliasi Tuilau said this remains a concern to the Ministry and government.

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Tuilau says in order to fast-track work on meeting the target – Fiji has to look at exporting more varieties of products.

“Instead of us looking at the whole agriculture sector, we trying to break it down at some of the commodities, we can fast-track and get into – some of the livestock sector – like our pork industry and beef. There are things that hinder trying to be self sufficient.”

Chief Economist Ilimeleki Kaiyanuyanu says Fiji also has to move away from its traditional markets Australia and New Zealand and move into other markets.

“In order to increase our export capacity – we really need to look out of Australia and New Zealand. The only potential is out there in the Asian markets. We are now exploring the Asian markets. To get into the Asian market we need the semi-processed products.”

Last year Fiji’s export value was $510 million while imports were $600 million.

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