17 Oct 2005

Pacific Island countries should combine marketing efforts for exports says academic

4:21 pm on 17 October 2005

There is a recommendation that Pacific island countries should combine efforts to market their fisheries exports in order to be competitive.

The proposal comes out of a study of the barriers to trade for Tonga's commercial fisheries exports by Halahingano Rohorua.

Ms Rohorua, who's a former manager at the Tonga Development Bank, says all countries in the Pacific face the same barriers of distance to market.

And, she says the fleets of distant water nations are very efficient so local fleets need a competitive edge.

"I believe we will be competitive if we market together with our neighbours as Pacific Islands rather than going alone into the market. Because, if we work together in the Pacific, as a group, then I think we'll have a better opportunity."

Ms Rohorua says there is debate about a common marketing effort being undertaken by the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Forum Secretariat.