29 Feb 2012

Attorney-General says parternship between Fiji and EU contentious

10:17 am on 29 February 2012

The Attorney-General and Minister for Trade and Industry in Fiji says an interim economic partnership between his country and the European Union contains several contentious issues that challenge national sovereignty.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told delegates at the opening of the Pacific African Caribbean Trade officials meeting in Nadi that the issues constrain Fiji's policy space and may hinder development.

Fiji is still negotiating a full Interim Economic Partnership Agreement in order to deepen its trade relationship with the EU.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the Agreement also contains issues unrelated to trade, and says they must be removed or resolved.

The Agreeement was signed in 2009, and provides duty-free and quota-free market access on all products from Fiji except sugar and rice which are subjected to longer transitional periods.