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ACP push for UK duty-free access

Margaret Wise
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

AFRICAN Caribbean Pacific (ACP) sugar-producing countries including Fiji are hoping that the United Kingdom will continue to provide duty-free access for ACP sugar in to the UK.

The Marketing report of the Fiji Sugar Corporation's 2017 Annual Report said the UK remained a key destination for Fiji sugar.

The UK Government, in a press statement issued on June 24 this year, said it would use BREXIT to cement Britain's standing in the world and meet their commitments to the world's poorest by securing their existing duty-free access to UK markets and providing new opportunities to increase trade links.

However, the initiative only applies to Least Developed Countries (LDC).

LDCs are a list of the countries that, according to the United Nations, exhibit the lowest indicators of socioeconomic development, with the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all countries in the world.

In its 2017 annual report, the FSC said the ACP sugar group would like the UK to make provision to include ACP countries in allowing duty-free access into Britain.

These were ACP sugar-producing countries, like Fiji, that currently benefitted from duty-free access into the UK despite not being LDC countries.

The FSC said it hoped this could be done through economic partnership agreements.

A preferential quota access for locally-produced sugar, which Fiji has enjoyed since the mid-1970s, came to an end on October 1 this year.

Under the duty-free access, Fiji used to earn as much as three times the world sugar price by selling up to 220,000 tonnes of raw sugar to the European market.

Fiji now has to compete with all other sugar-producers for a share of the global raw sugar market.

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