8 Nov 2004

Fiji Labour Party says replacing lost clothing export jobs will be a struggle

4:30 pm on 8 November 2004

The Labour Party in Fiji is doubtful an increase in exports to Australia will save many of the five-thousand jobs that could be lost from the garment industry.

The response comes after the government announced a drop in economic growth from four percent down to one-point-five percent next year.

A Labour party spokesperson, Bob Chun, says while the export arrangement with Australia has been extended for another seven years, it's unlikely this will compensate for the jobs lost from the end of the US agreement which gave preferential access there.

He says some companies only export to the United States.

"There are a couple of companies which are solely exporting to the United States, and one of the big companies which expeorts to the US, I understand, has about five-thousand workers, so that company would not be able to export to the Australian market, which is fairly saturated anyway from exports from other companies."

The Labour party's spokesperson Bob Chun.