UK signs post-Brexit trade deal with Fiji and PNG
March 15, 2019 12:44 pm
The international trade secretary, Liam Fox, with Jitoko Tikolevu and Winnie Kiap, the high commissioners to the UK for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. [Source: Reuters]
Fiji and Papua New Guinea have signed a post-Brexit trade deal.
This as the British government rushes to sign as many agreements as possible before March 29th.
The UK based The Guardian reports the British Department for International Trade says the agreement will maintain access to goods including sugar and fish imported from the islands.
The UK has signed an agreement today to continue tariff-free trade with Fiji and Papua New Guinea. This will allow businesses to trade as freely as they do now after we leave the European Union. #FreeTradeUK pic.twitter.com/AOEsylt5QX
— Department for International Trade (@tradegovuk) March 14, 2019
Total trade between Britain and the Pacific region is worth about £369m or over FJD1.04b a year.
The deal eliminates all tariffs on all goods imported from Fiji and PNG and will gradually remove around 80% of tariffs on UK exports to these countries.
It comes only a day after the British government said it will slash tariffs to zero on the vast majority of imports to Britain under a no-deal Brexit, rendering the deal less significant for UK consumers.
The Pacific islands deal is part of the UK’s pledge to support developing nations and use trade to reduce poverty, but it also comes as ministers rush to sign deals with about 70 countries the UK trades with under EU free trade agreements, which are due to end in two weeks’ time.
These agreements will, however, be rolled over if MPs approve Theresa May’s deal before 29 March or if Brexit is delayed through an article 50 extension.
The Pacific islands deal also comes days after the EU added Fiji to a tax haven blacklist.