16 Jun 2007

New Zealand warns Fiji of possible sanctions

8:36 am on 16 June 2007

New Zealand has threatened trade and other reprisals against Fiji in retaliation for the expulsion of its high commissioner, Michael Green.

The New Zealand foreign minister's press secretary, James Funnell, has told the Fiji Sun newspaper, Fiji should expect a full review of all bilateral trade.

New Zealand exports to Fiji are valued at about 227 million US dollars a year while Fiji's exports to New Zealand are worth 37 million.

Any trade sanctions would mean that New Zealand businesses stand to lose the most.

But New Zealand is Fiji's second largest tourism market and the tightening of travel advisories, which has already been announced by Helen Clark, will hurt Fiji.

New Zealand travel advisories put Fiji in the same risk category as Britain, Spain and Tonga.

One of New Zealand's largest tourism wholesalers is reported to have already removed Fiji holidays from its listings and has pulled off all Fiji brochures and posters from its offices.

The Fiji Institute of Accountants and the Fiji Chamber of Commerce are both calling for dialogue to resolve differences.