THE EU has welcomed Fiji's decision to approve the provisional application of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement.
EU head of delegation to the Pacific ambassador Andre Jacobs said the provisional application would allow Fiji's exports to the EU to continue to benefit from duty-free, quota-free access to the EU market.
Mr Jacobs was responding to government's announcement that it was taking necessary measures to ensure that preferential market access of Fiji's most important exports — sugar, fish, garments and processed foods — to the EU would not be disrupted by a lapse in a trade agreement with the EU.
In a statement on Tuesday, Minister for Trade and Attorney- General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this was a significant action that preserved the favourable market conditions for the foundations of the country's export economy.
"The results are that thousands of Fijian jobs are protected and our economy will continue to grow at its fastest rate in years," he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he had informed the EU's Commissioner for Trade of their intention.
He added concluding the comprehensive EPA together with the rest of the Pacific ACP countries remained an urgent priority.