24 Aug 2004

Fiji's Textile industry hopeful of talks delivering assistance

4:22 pm on 24 August 2004

A member of Fiji's Textile, Clothing and Footwear council, Mark Halabe, is hopeful that talks in Australia will provide additional assistance to the industry.

Australia's Foreign minister, Alexander Downer is hosting his Fiji counterpart, Kaliopate Tavola, today and tomorrow to discuss development co-operation and regional reform.

And, it follows the agreement to extend the bilateral SPARTECA TCF deal for seven years which allows Fiji to continue exporting clothes to Australia under special access.

Mr Halabe says he's hoping Australia will also agree to send experts to Fiji to develop the industry's global competitiveness.

"There were other issues that were also to be ironed out and one was the restructure of the industry in Fiji, the training component of it, and the simplification of the system that we have. And, we hope that on the agenda, when they meet, they can discuss those issues."

Mark Halabe.

The talks in Australia will also focus on economic efficiency and sustainability of the region's aviation and shipping sectors, and joint policing exercises.