18 Oct 2005

Fiji PM criticises WTO

11:23 am on 18 October 2005

Fiji's Prime Minister says the World Trade Organisations regime is unjust to small developing states like Fiji.

Laisenia Qarase says the WTO is trying to impose an equality of trade in an unequal world but for developing countries like Fiji there is no level playing field but a slippery slope.

Speaking at the Fiji - Australia Business Forum Laisenia Qarase said Fiji cannot achieve sustainable growth for the long term if it does not earn enough foreign currency from sales of products overseas.

The loss of preferential access to certain markets for garments and sugar is the major reason for the drop in economic growth.

Laisenia Qarase also stated the effect of the WTO was to penalise countries with the weakest economies but the people who were hurt the most were workers struggling to support their families.