14 Dec 2009

Fiji's sugar industry to benefit from Economic Partnership Agreement with EU

4:16 pm on 14 December 2009

A Fiji economist says the signing of an economic agreement with the European Union is important for the country's sugar industry and could open up opportunities for other commodities.

Fiji has signed the interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, which was signed by Papua New Guinea in July.

An economics professor at the University of the South Pacific, Biman Prasad, says the agreement preserves provisions for preferential prices for Fiji's sugar exports to the European Union.

He says there are also other niche market opportunities in Europe.

"There is potential for non-sugar crops such as ginger, other root crops, but there is also potential for fisheries, timber and perhaps mineral water as well, which is already finding markets in the US, Australia, New Zealand and some of the European countries."

However, Biman Prasad says the European Union agreement is less important for Pacific countries than the PACER Plus agreement as Australia and New Zealand are the two major markets for them.