SUNBIZ

Ali: MSG Trade Progress Should Not Backtrack

As trade between the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries increases each year, our Government has stressed it is important the commitments and progress were not backtracked. Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade
29 Aug 2015 09:13
Ali: MSG Trade Progress Should Not Backtrack
Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali.

As trade between the Melanesian Spearhead Group countries increases each year, our Government has stressed it is important the commitments and progress were not backtracked.

Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali, made these comments yesterday.

This was part of his opening statement at the MSG Senior Trade and Economic Officials meeting in Nadi where Mr Ali is leading the Fijian delegation in the discussions.

“By creating stronger trade and economic links between our countries, we are laying the foundation for a new era of trade and economic development and cooperation within the MSG,” he said.

 

Draft agreement

Mr Ali said the Trade Officials had thoroughly discussed the draft MSG Trade Agreement, which will be finalised at the next meeting in New Caledonia in November.

“This MSG Trade Agreement is a new-age, modern agreement that is going beyond trade in goods,” he said.

“It covers trade in services and investments, which will lead our nations to prosperity and a better future for our people.”

 

Existing trade

Mr Ali informed the Fiji Sun that Fiji’s trade with the MSG countries has increased by 6.3 per cent from $158.8 million in 2013 and to $168.9 million in 2014.

There are also significant investments between parties, such as PNG investment in the financial and tourism sector in Fiji, whilst Fiji has invested in the retail and manufacturing sectors in PNG and other MSG countries.

He said the new MSG Trade Agreement will provide impetus to take this further.

“Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement, therefore, needs to not only foster free trade, as was intended, but is also seen to be doing so,” he said.

“This is vital in terms of creating a stable and a conducive environment for our private sector.

“Thus, a lot depends on us the implementers of the Agreement, to carry out our roles diligently and as mandated by the Agreement.”

 

The right approach

Mr Ali further emphasised that in order to further trade and investment interests, a coordinated approach was required at the domestic level.

“Trade Policy Framework in our respective MSG countries plays a crucial role to ensure a coordinated approach to trade and investment related activities,” he said.

“The recently launched study for the Private Sector Development Strategy should supplement the vision and initiatives of our Trade Policy Frameworks.”

The Outcomes of the Trade and Economic Officials meeting will be reported to the Trade Ministers Meeting on Monday August 31 that will be held in Nadi.

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: