ONE of the proposals highlighted in the draft trade policy being constructed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade is the establishment of a trade commission in Australia.
Revealing new proposals outlined in the draft framework, ministry deputy secretary Sovaia Marawa said the trade commission would strengthen trade ties between Fiji and Australia.
"There has also been a proposal to open a trade commission in Australia in the framework," she said.
"This is arising from the reality that Australia is still our traditional trade partner and will continue to be.
"There is still so much potential in Australia that we have not really captured for the private sector."
Ms Marawa said the proposal was to establish a trade commission in Australia that would look at the business to business relationships between the private sectors of both countries.
"The commission will also look at what will enable our products to enter those markets and likewise handling the trade facilitation that will need to be addressed by the respective agencies in Australia and here in Fiji."
Ms Marawa revealed a proposal to establish a national and Pacific regional trade commission was highlighted in the draft framework.
"The draft trade policy framework has proposed the implementation of a national body that will implement and ensure we reach our set indicators and that will be the task of the council to achieve.
"For the mechanism, there is a multi-stakeholder council that has been proposed and it will be the apex body that will assist government to implement trade policies.
"It will comprise a whole of Fiji approach in which it will have private sector and government sector representation and the civil society and it will be chaired by the Minister of Industry and Trade or by his representative.
"At a regional level, we have noticed a shift in trade relationships between Fiji and the Pacific over the years. There has been also a proposal for a roaming trade commissioner in the Pacific.
"The proposal is for the trade commissioner to be appointed to address these issues similar to that we have with Australia."
The framework is in its final stages of consolidation before a final report is handed over to New Zealand-based consultants to assess the new draft.