17 Mar 2017

PNG promising to get tough with Fiji over trade

8:27 pm on 17 March 2017

A submission to the Papua New Guinea National Executive Council has called for the country to stop importing any goods from Fiji.

PNG Trade Minister, Richard Maru.

PNG Trade Minister, Richard Maru. Photo: Fiji Government

The Minister for Trade Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru, said PNG was putting its foot down as Fiji has failed to justify its continued refusal to allow PNG goods into its markets.

He said PNG must now take very aggressive trade sanctions against Fiji.

The Post Courier reported Mr Maru calling Fiji a "dishonourable country" which had failed to honor trade agreements signed through the Melanesian Spearhead Group since 1998.

This came after a five month long assessment on Ox & Palm canned meat products, rice and biscuits.

Mr Maru said his Fijian counterpart, Faiyaz Koya, was "not good enough."

He said Fiji had agreed to accept these foods but only for household quantities - meaning travellers could carry a little quantity in their bags, but Fiji would not accept commercial volumes.

Mr Maru called this a huge insult to PNG and said the country would not sign the new MSG trade agreement and would not agree to any deal that Fiji is a part of.

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