12 Dec 2009

Fiji signs EPA in Copenhagen

7:26 am on 12 December 2009

Fiji has in Copenhagen signed on to the interim Economic Partnership Agreement or EPA between the EU and the countries of the Pacific.

The EU and Fiji's Pacific neighbour, Papua New Guinea, signed the agreement in July 2009 but at that stage Fiji still needed more time to complete its internal procedures.

Fiji and Papua New Guinea are two of the fourteen Pacific countries that belong to the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific group but together they represent more than 80 per cent of the Pacific region's exports to the EU.

The agreement focuses on trade in goods and includes important provisions on rules of origin for the fisheries sector and because of this agreement, Fiji will continue to enjoy duty-free and quota-free access to the European market.

It is expected that the agreement will contribute to increased trade with the EU and within the region and thus to the creation of growth, jobs and development in Fiji.

The agreement was signed by Fiji's interim Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.