25 Jul 2003

EU says Fiji sugar industry can weather end of subsidy

4:55 pm on 25 July 2003

The European Union's Frans Baan says all ACP sugar producing countries will be hit by the inevitable reduction of prices in the industry.

Mr Baan says Fiji is at a point where the need to restructure its sugar industry is more essential than ever if a collapse is to be avoided.

He says Fiji has not been able to capitalise on preferential prices, which are about three-times the world market price, but he's confident the political will is now there to get that restructuring underway...

"It doesn't mean that the whole restructuring process is cast in stone...I mean there are some unanswered questions and some matters that need to be re-discussed and re-negotiated, but I think that the present political leaders are ready to face that challenge and have indicated that, but it will require all of the stake holders to play their part"

The European Union's Frans Baan.