20 Jul 2004

Fiji manufacturers express doubts about benefits of Melanesian trade agreement

8:14 am on 20 July 2004

The Fiji Manufacturers Association says the Melanesian Free Trade Agreement is working against Fiji's interests.

The association president, Desmond Whiteside, has told Radio Fiji that Papua New Guinea does not allow the duty-free import of 87 items manufactured in Fiji.

But Fiji does not impose any restrictions on Papua New Guinea, which can export anything it wants duty-free into Fiji.

The chief executive of external relations and foreign trade, Isikeli Mataitoga, has confirmed there is such an anomaly and Papa New Guinea is on notice that their negative list is no longer an acceptable way of conducting trade relations.