THERE is a need to establish policies that do not allow the import of products that lead to non-communicable diseases, permanent secretary for Industries and Trade Shaheen Ali said.
Speaking at a sub-regional workshop on trade and NCDs in the Pacific, he said trade policy setters and the trade ministry were cognisant of trade and health problems.
"There is a lot of access to goods that perhaps are linked to NCDs. There is a need for the establishment of maximum policy setting to ensure that products that cause NCDs are not readily available and in turn make trade an instrument of development. I'm not saying that there is no scope for further co-operation, there should be."
He said trade policies should also be mainstreamed into national policies.
"At the moment Fiji is pursuing a National Trade Policy framework that will allow all the sectors including health to contribute to trade negotiations and trade policies. In that sense, the co-operation between the two sectors is good.
"However, we need to get the message out there that our departments, trade officials and policy makers are working together in trade and health."
The four-day workshop in Nadi is an initiative of the World Health Organisation, United Nations Development Programme, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Pacific Research Centre for the prevention of Obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases.