PNG Chamber of Commerce calls for Melanesian solution to trade dispute

4:09 pm on 31 August 2016

The Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the governments of PNG and Fiji to get together to find a Melanesian solution to their trade dispute.

PNG has given Fiji until today to lift a ban on Ox & Palm corned beef or risk an import ban on Fiji products.

Fiji said the two countries have not established bilateral biosecurity arrangements for some goods.

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The PNG Capital of Port Moresby. Photo: RNZ/ Koro Vaka'uta

But the President of the PNG Chamber of Commerce John Leahy said he doesn't accept that explanation

"If it is the case that Fiji is talking about biosecurity issues in relation to the products well it's just rubbish," he said.

"The products are exported at least to Australia and other places which have very high standards so we think that's just a ploy to keep the products out of the market and so we do support the Minister taking a tough stand on this. Now whether a trade war is the right way to go is perhaps another issue."

John Leahy said he hopes commonsense will prevail and both parties will come together to avoid an escalation of the trade standoff.

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