18 Aug 2004

Fiji garment industry concerned about revenue loss in US

2:02 pm on 18 August 2004

The United States refusal to extend a trade agreement is expected to cost Fiji garment manufacturers tens of millions of dollars in lost sales.

Fiji TV reports that the current agreement ends in December but in talks in Apia during last week's post-Forum dialogue, the US representative, James Kelly, refused to agree to an extension.

The minister for foreign affairs and trade, Kaliopate Tavola, says the end of the agreement will mean that Fiji will have to compete against garments made in China, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

Just one large Fiji manufacturer, Ghim Li, is reported to stand to lose nearly 30-million US dollars in sales.