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Koya Urges For Continuity In MSG Trade Agreement

The Fijian Government has stressed once the MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA3) is established, there would be a need to continue revisiting and revising it according to trends. The Minister for
01 Sep 2015 10:05
Koya Urges For Continuity In MSG Trade Agreement
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya (seated third left) with Melanesia Spearhead Group Trade Ministers and trade officials yesterday at Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The Fijian Government has stressed once the MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA3) is established, there would be a need to continue revisiting and revising it according to trends.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, said they would need to continuously revise and expand the legal framework governing trade.

This, he said so that we can remain competitive on the world stage.

Mr Koya made these comments yesterday during his welcome address at the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Ministers Meeting at Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

He stressed to the MSG Trade Ministers of the need to direct and guide officials to maintain their commitment, to ensure a long term sustainable future for the MSG region.

“We should also always be mindful of the fact that we need to remain flexible to shifts in the international landscape,” he said.

“It’s not just about manufacturing or producing a single product, we have to see the big picture and identify our role in the global value-chain production process.

“Today, a product travels through numerous countries throughout the production process.

“Becoming a link in this global value-chain is a competitive process, and we need to encourage the creation of MSG regional production value chains to increase the region’s efficiency.”

Mr Koya said this is also beneficial as it leads to regional exports to the international market.

“We all need to embrace this and be part of the Global Value Chains to strengthen our comparative advantage,” he said.

“How do we achieve this collectively as MSG countries? By remaining committed to increasing intra-MSG regional trade.

“This can only be achieved with the ‘political will’ necessary to implement arrangements and commitments that lead us to this goal.”

 

The meeting

The meeting yesterday was to evaluate the outcomes and recommendations of the Trade and Economic Officials Meeting held the past Friday.

The trade ministers will negotiate the draft MSGTA3 legal text and, amongst other things, discuss the Private Sector Development Strategy.

The draft MSG Trade Agreement is expected to be finalised at the next meeting in New Caledonia in November.

Mr Koya stressed the strategies for the development of the private sector should not dwell on political environment of the past.

But, he said it should rather build on the successes of the present to give us an even better future.

“Therefore, a MSG regional strategy should follow national policies in relation to trade, investment and business development,” he said.

“Our own Trade Policy Framework provides an important guide as to what the member states are trying to achieve.

“The MSG Private Sector Development Strategy will do well to take cue from those frameworks, which have undergone extensive consultations.

“This strategy document needs to put our best foot forward, especially to our investors and development partners.”

Mr Koya said they are moving fast towards creating a new-age, modern agreement in the form of the MSGTA3.

“We must commit to working within the legal boundaries of the Agreement,” he said.

“We cannot agree to provisions of a trade agreement and then back-track on our commitments by making unilateral decisions that do not fall into the agreed terms.”

 

Some MSG trade facts highlighted by minister for industry, trade and tourism, faiyaz siddiq koya:

  • Trade between the MSG countries is increasing each year at record levels.
  • Over a five-year period from 2010 to 2014, the total trade value between the MSG countries grew from $79 million to $169 million representing an increase of approximately 114 per cent.
  • Trade between Fiji and MSG countries accounts for 24 per cent of our total trade with Pacific Islands Countries.
  • PNG has invested in the financial and tourism sectors in Fiji, while Fiji continues to invest in the retail and manufacturing sectors in PNG and other MSG countries.

Feedback: saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 

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