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Fiji Time: 6:22 PM on Sunday 20 April

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'Back temporary labour movement'

Serelisoni Moceica
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FIJI should push for temporary movement to benefit from globalisation, says the former director of the Economic Governance Program at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Roman Grynberg.

The senior research fellow at the Trade and International Economics in South Africa said last week the Government should map out mechanisms of the temporary labour movement and organisations should back it.

He said workers should be provided contracts to migrate, work and return.

The economist said countries such as Australia and New Zealand tried to stop developmental assistance to Pacific island countries including Fiji and used this as a political lever against them.

"Then what they will do is offer to Fiji trade agreements with the weakest link," Mr Grynberg warned.

He urged the Government to agree on the creation of more work and to reduce consultancy contracts.

"Australia and New Zealand want free trade agreements with Pacific countries that closely resemble their agreements with other developing countries which in the long run will not be beneficial to us," he said.

He said PACER Plus was the direct result of the two countries' needs to establish similar agreements as the European Union.

In the recent Auckland's Pacific Island Forum Leaders' meeting, Fiji was given the green light to participate at PACER Plus meetings but at official level only.