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Sugar industry lauds government effort

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, July 19, 2014

THE sugar industry has lauded the recent announcement by the government to provisionally apply an interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.

The agreement allows raw Fiji sugar duty-free and quota-free access to the European market.

Stakeholders had voiced some concerns when the deadline for ratifying the trade agreement passed on June 30.

In making the announcement earlier this week, Attorney-General and Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said government ratified the interim EPA to maintain exports to the lucrative European market and protect jobs in Fiji.

Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said endorsing the interim EPA spelt good news for the sugar sector.

"This means that we can still continue to sell our sugar to Tate and Lyle in London at premium price," Mr Khan said.

"This also augurs well in maintaining the confidence of canegrowers.

"The FSC and government have made a commitment to keep sugar prices up for the benefit of all canefarmers in the country."

Sugar Cane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty labelled the move as a very positive step.

"This will maintain the confidence of growers in terms of sustainability," Mr Chetty said.

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