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Koya clarifies position on PACER Plus

Monika Singh
Thursday, April 27, 2017

FIJI will continue to negotiate and demand its rights until the Government is satisfied that the regional trade agreement PACER Plus does not constrain Fiji's potential for development.

This was the statement from Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya in Parliament yesterday.

Negotiations on PACER Plus concluded last week in Australia however Fiji and Papua New Guinea were not present.

Mr Koya said he had written to his counterparts in Australia and New Zealand and OCTA requesting for a deferment of the meeting to allow Fiji time to attend.

"I also highlighted what Fiji needed changed in PACER Plus to make the deal more fair to the Pacific Island Countries.

"These related to two issues, primarily, 'Infant Industry Development' provisions and 'Third Party Most Favored Nation (MFN)' provisions.

"Going forward, Fiji will take every opportunity to be engaged in the process and push our concerns, even after the deal is signed.

"There should not be any misconceptions out there as to what our position is and what it will take for Fiji to commit to PACER Plus," he said.

Mr Koya said Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who would meet Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on COP23 issues next week, would also clearly lay Fiji's position on PACER Plus on the table, once again.

"We believe the current versions of these two provisions could be disastrous to Fiji in terms of growth of our industries and our approach to forge favourable partnership with our key trading partners, besides Australia and New Zealand."

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