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Enhancing trade capacity

Filipe Naigulevu
Friday, January 27, 2017

RELEVANT stakeholders in the local and regional agribusiness and food industry converged yesterday in Suva to discuss ways of enhancing their trade capacity.

The one-day trade workshop culminated the successful ending of the project ACP-EUTBT program, a trade-related technical assistance program funded by the 10th European Development Fund and implemented in partnership with the ACP Secretariat.

EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific Andrew Jacobs, who opened the workshop, outlined the need to enhance trade capacities of Pacific Agribusiness in order to improve access to international markets.

This, Mr Jacobs said, was essential in promoting economic growth to provide sustainable livelihoods for the people in the Pacific region.

"Supporting regional economic integration is a cornerstone of the EU's development cooperation in the Pacific and throughout the world," he said.

"The Pacific private sector faces great challenges, such as limited economies of scale and high transportation costs."

The workshop, organised by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), covered a range of items including lessons learnt in assisting local agribusiness small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Other major issues discussed were the role of certification bodies in the region and requirements for exporting fruits and vegetables to regional markets as well as the effects of food and safety requirements on Pacific businesses.

The workshop was well attended including representatives from Fiji's agriculture and health ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forestry and Fisheries in Tonga and representatives of the private sector.

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