Friday, 31 March 2017

Fiji's Trade Minister lifted his ban on the importation of PNG food products

Fiji’s Trade Minister Faiyaz Siddiq Koya has reportedly announced he has lifted his ban on the importation of PNG food products, Ox & Palm Corned Beef, Trukai Rice and Lae Biscuits. It follows PNG Trade Minister Richard Maru’s threat to stop importing all goods from Fiji.

In a Post Courier report PNG's Trade Minister Richard Maru went on to say he will also pursue on trade with the Philippines.

Maru said the issue he raised earlier about the lopsided trade difference between PNG and the Asian nation was not similar to the Fijian trade war saga due to no official trade agreement existing between both, as is the case with Fiji through the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

Given the uncertainty of election results of PNG's general elections next month, Minister Maru says it is vital the new minister pursue the Philippines in the hope to establish a trade agreement.
"We do not have a trade agreement with the Philippines now in the same way we have a trade agreement with Fiji called the MSGTA2 (Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement 2)."

"So in terms of us really putting pressure on them it’s difficult because we do not have a trade agreement with the Philippines."

"That is something the new trade minister has to look at when he comes back to parliament," Minister Maru said. He added the correspondence to the Philippines government has not been followed through properly, as yet, due to time factors, but also expressed satisfaction in the interim of the granting of landing rights in the Philippines capital, Manila.

"To be honest I have not followed up on this issue, because I am coming to the end of my term I do not want to start something that I can’t take through."

"I am happy that they are giving us landing rights now in Manila, and we have given them landing rights also." "This is a country that we seriously need to negotiate a corporate economic agreement – we really need a new minister with the drive because really these things don’t happen in one or two months or 24 months to do."

"I mean look at the fight with Fiji- it has now been going on for 12 months," Maru pointed.

Source: Post Courier and Business Advantage PNG

PNG Trade Minister Richard Maru. Image credit: Post Courier.

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