Fiji mulls ‘Aid for Trade Matrix’

2013-01-02T11:00:00Z

An inter-departmental committee involving several government ministries and departments as also the private sector and non-government organisations, called Trade Development Committee (TDC), held a meeting last week to enhance Fiji’s international trade.<!--more-->

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The committee hopes to achieve this through regulatory reforms, addressing supply side capacity and investing in trade-related infrastructure. The committee is a focal point for Fiji’s trade policy and trade negotiations.

Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Mr. Shaheen Ali said, “The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the project on the ‘Development of a Consolidated Aid-for-Trade (AfT) Matrix’, which has been commissioned by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

“This project will assist Fiji to identify and prioritise its trade development and capacity needs in relation to the trade agreements Fiji is a party to or is negotiating.”

Trade-related infrastructure such as ports and roads, health and food safety agency and Fiji’s customs administration were some of the key areas identified for further strengthening and capacity building.

While Fiji is one of the more vibrant economies in the Pacific ACP region, the meeting heard that the cost of doing business in Fiji could be made more internationally competitive, to facilitate and support trade and enhance economic growth.

In particular, the project will assist Fiji to develop a matrix of activities based on its national and regional priorities. The project will also develop project proposals with cost outlines and programme details that can be used to secure additional Aid-for-Trade resources from our partners.

The meeting heard that Fiji was a signatory to the interim EPA and was also negotiating the comprehensive EPA with the European Union along with the other 13 Pacific ACP States (PACPS). This project would assist Fiji and the other PACPS in advancing negotiations with the European Union on the development cooperation provisions under the EPA. It will also assist in securing additional Aid-for-Trade resources from other development partners.

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