22 Feb 2006

PNG and Fiji involved in spat of corned beef

8:08 pm on 22 February 2006

Papua New Guinea and Fiji are heading for a trade war over a corned beef issue with the PNG Trade and Industry Minister threatening to increase by tariffs by over 100 percent on Fiji's Island Beef.

Paul Tiensten has told Parliament he would make a submission to increase the tariff rate from the current 25% to 55% to teach Fiji a lesson and bring them to a round-table discussion.

Mr Tiensten later told The National newspaper that if that does not work, all Fijian companies in the country will face tariff increase on their products.

The minister says it's not good for two countries to fight each other but they have exhausted all the diplomatic and bilateral avenues, it's now a trade war between Fiji and PNG.

The Minister says the critical issue was that the permit license in Fiji to import PNG bully beef set out some stringent conditions which states that meat in Ox & Palm must come from Australia and New Zealand.

He says its discriminatory and the Fiji quarantine makes it difficult to sell PNG bully beef.