14 Apr 2009

NZ Pacific Business Council says care must be taken over Fiji

10:22 am on 14 April 2009

The chair of the New Zealand Pacific Business Council says the Government must take extreme care over Fiji, because it's an export market which is being eyed by other countries.

Gilbert Ullrich says Fiji's possible expulsion from international bodies, over its move away from democracy, would have significant economic consequences.

Our Pacific Issues Correspondent, Richard Pamatatau, reports.

"Mr Ullrich says no matter what happens New Zealand must keep talking or risk losing a market worth 500 million dollars. The director of Development Studies at Auckland University Yvonne Underhill- Sem says the current government in Suva knows countries like China and Korea would help it. Dr Underhill-Sem says throwing Fiji out of the Pacific Islands Forum would be short-sighted. Mike Walsh, the former managing director of financial services company Colonial Fiji says rebuking the regime is the wrong approach, and travel restrictions on people connected with it must go."