9 Jan 2015

Boost for Fiji-made exports to Australia

8:17 am on 9 January 2015

Fiji's clothing and textile industry is hoping to boost its 55 million US dollars worth of exports to Australia with the start of improved access to the Australian market this year.

New more flexible rules for Fiji-made garments under Australia's Developing Country Preferences system started on January the 1st.

The system eases the way for duty free entry to Australia and allows greater flexibility for exporters to source raw materials from more cost effective sources outside the region.

Wool products are included as part of the new flexible rules.

Fiji's Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya, says exporters will now be able to get textiles from developing countries such as China, Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Vietnam, and turn them into finished garments for duty free export to Australia.

The industry employs 4,000 workers in Fiji.

The new system comes following Fiji's request to Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for an improvement to the previous SPARTECA-TCF scheme.