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Pacific trade activity needs to boosted: Ali

February 7, 2018 6:35 pm

Fiji has received over twenty one million dollars in the Aid for Trade programme by the World Trade Organization since 2002.

This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary for Trade, Shaheen Ali during the Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific conference underway in Suva.

Ali says this funding is given in a bid to boost trade activity for developing and least developed countries.

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“Out of this, over the same period Fiji has received US$10.4 million in AfT, which is 0.11% of Asia and the Pacific. The rest of the Pacific received 3%. This raises questions, such as; is the funding enough to achieve the objectives of AfT, at a regional and national levels? Whether this assistance has really led to increased connectivity and inclusive development of the developing countries, as the theme of this Conference suggests?”

Ali highlighted that small island states represent less than one percent of global exports in goods and services.

The Permanent Secretary says it’s important to lift the Pacific trade quota which can be done with the right tools.

He adds the island nations don’t have the right kind of infrastructure which include roads, ports, airports along with digital set ups to increase trade.

Therefore, he says meetings like these provide a platform to discuss ways in which the Pacific Island trade potential can be further stretched.

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