22 Mar 2006

Fiji and PNG sign corned beef deal

9:44 am on 22 March 2006

Fiji has lifted its ban on the import of corned beef from Papua New Guinea following talks between the two countries.

The Fiji Times reports that Fiji's minister for external relations and foreign trade, Kaliopate Tavola met PNG's trade minister, Paul Tiensten, at a special meeting of the Melanesia Spearhead Group in Vanuatu last week where the issue was resolved.

Earlier this year Mr Tavola had issued a statement saying PNG had to prove that its beef was free of mad cow disease before it could be allowed into Fiji.

Mr Teinsten retaliated by saying that the ban was in breach of the free trade agreement between Melanesian Spearhead Group countries and threatened to take Fiji to the World Trade Organisation.