Pacific economies at risk

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya outside Parliament March 18. Picture: JONA KONATACI

FIJI and the Pacific Island Countries, as small economies have unique needs and are at most risk of being left behind by the multilateral trading system, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya.
Mr Koya made the statement at the opening of the Regional Workshop on the Eleventh Ministerial
Conference (MC11) and Post MC 11 at the Pacifi c Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva yesterday.

A government statement said the workshop was organised by the PIF Secretariat and the World Trade Organisation.

Mr Koya said the global economy and especially Small Island Developing States of the Pacific could not afford the emergence of protectionism and tit for tat trade war.

He said the WTO needed to be strong to ensure the observance and integrity of global trade rules and called for a need to protect and provide a level playing field for small Pacifi c economies.

“For us in the Pacific, fisheries is an integral part of our culture and the way of life and is also a key resource and a source of livelihood for many,” he said.

The opening session of the four-day workshop being held at the Pacifi c Islands Forum Secretariat
in Suva also heard from the Director-General of WTO, Roberto Azevêdo who reminded the PICs that their contribution to negotiations and discussion were crucial seeing that they face unique challenges.