20 Jan 2011

EU ready for formal deals with PNG and Fiji

2:30 pm on 20 January 2011

The European Union Parliament has given the go-ahead for the Council to conclude an Interim Economic Partnership Agreement with Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

In a statement, the Parliament says it is nevertheless concerned about the impact that an agreement would have on what it calls regional solidarity and economic integration in the Pacific Region.

A second, non-binding, resolution highlights the consequences of the agreement for Papua New Guinea and Fiji in terms of trade relations with the two countries' closest and largest trading partners, Australia and New Zealand, and also for the fishing, canning and processing industries.

The parliamentarians are concerned about Papua New Guinea's decision to derogate from the rules of origin for processed fishery products, which has turned that country into a genuine hub for processing canned tuna from countries like the Philippines, Thailand, China, the US and Australia.

They say this may have a destabilising effect on the EU's fish canning industry,.