3 Dec 2007

Fiji business leader says little in EU interim offer

7:07 pm on 3 December 2007

Fiji's Chamber of Commerce says Fiji won't gain much from a trade agreement to be signed with the European Union.

The EU had been pushing nations it gives aid to to sign Economic Partnership Agreements by the end of the year.

But amid widerspread opposition it offered an interim deal for agreement on trade in goods only.

Fiji and Papua New Guinea are the only regional members of the African Caribbean Pacific states seriously considering the offer.

The chamber's vice-president, Humphrey Chang, doesn't see many benefits for businesses in his country.

"I don't think we would have a lot to gain, except perhaps fish and a little bit of sugar. But otherwise, there is not much we can export there, maybe a little a bit of fruit. But [there is] the problem of isolation here and to do business with the EU would be difficult."

Humphrey Chang says it would be too costly to import goods from the EU because of high shipping costs.