Fiji's sugar industry says it's feeling the brunt of an unlevel playing field due to the
World Trade Organisation's decision to do away with preferential sugar prices.
Concerns for the negative economic and social impact of trade liberalisation have re-surfaced after last week's confirmation by the WTO that European subsidies for sugar production are to be phased out.
The chairman of Fiji's Sugar Corporation, Ross McDonald says small countries are being told to compete with larger developed economies, but the reality is it's just too difficult.
He says any industry facing 37 percent price reductions has a problem on its hands...
"Here in Fiji, the industry supports some two hundred thousand people -something like 25 percent of our population. We have some 40 thousand people who get their direct income through the industry, so any reduction in price and impact on the industry is a huge concern."
Ross McDonald says the Sugar corporation is looking to upgrade their plants and machinery, in an order to produce a higher quality sugar and remain competitive.