17 May 2013

Vital for Fiji that EPA with EU concluded before Oct 2014

5:37 pm on 17 May 2013

Fiji stands to lose the most if Pacific members of the ACP bloc fail to reach an Economic Partnership Agreement, or EPA, with the European Union.

Pacnews reports a senior delegate attending the meeting of Pacific ACP trade ministers in Nadi, saying Fiji currently enjoys preferential sugar agreement prices with the EU under an interim EPA.

The delegate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, says the EU wants these concessions to expire by October 2014, which means it is in Fiji's interest that a permanent EPA be negotiated and finalised before then.

Fiji's trade minister and acting Prime Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, is chairing the meeting after Fiji was allowed back into the Pacific ACP grouping by a special summit of Pacific leaders in Papua New Guinea last year.

Fiji had been out of the PACP fold for about five years.