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PACER Plus ineffective without Fiji: AG

Radio Fiji

PACER Plus ineffective without Fiji: AG

20 June 2011

Any regional economic agreement that excludes Fiji will be an ineffective instrument for trade and development says Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Speaking at the Pacific Regional Business Conference in Nadi this morning – Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji’s exclusion will also limit the regions benefits and opportunities.

Sayed-Khaiyum says without Fiji’s regulators, policy-makers and negotiators in the PACER Plus negotiations process - the agreement will not serve the interests of Fiji businesses or the Fijian people.

He says Fiji will not accept any invitation to join or agree to any negotiations - without having a say on all aspects of the package.

Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji’s focus should be on the proper implementation of the Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA) first - before looking to expand to other areas.

PICTA, an Agreement amongst the 14 Pacific Island Countries, was signed almost 10 years ago – however no trade has been undertaken under the agreement.