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Trade Report Fills Gap On Trade Statistics In The Pacific

While primary industries are the backbone of many Pacific Island countries, the need for more up-to-date information on trade in the region has been highlighted. Fiji’s Trade commissioner to Papua
04 Feb 2016 09:45
Trade Report Fills Gap On Trade Statistics In The Pacific
From left: Author of Pacific Island Trade 2010 to 2014, Sally Ann Hughes, Fiji Trade Commisioner to Papua New Guinea, Navitalai Tuivuniwai, European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, and the director General of The Pacific Community, Colin Tukuitonga. Photo: STELLA MORESIO

While primary industries are the backbone of many Pacific Island countries, the need for more up-to-date information on trade in the region has been highlighted.

Fiji’s Trade commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Navitalai Tuivuniwai, stressed this was to better understand and grow national economies.

Mr Tuivuniwai made these comments during the launch of a comprehensive Pacific Islands Trade Report 2010- 2014 at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday.

“To date there is very little readily available information on trade statistics in the Pacific region,” he said.

“This report released by the Pacific Community and the European Union goes a long way to help fill that gap.”

Mr Tuivuniwai said the report was a valuable book as Pacific Island government, donor agencies and businesses now have access to standardised information.

This is on the region’s main primary sector export products, the biggest markets for these products and relative trading status of each country.

 

The report

The report was produced by the EU- funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project which is implemented by the Pacific Community.

In 2014, the total value of primary sector exports from the Pacific amounted to US$3.97 billion of which Papua New Guinea earned a significant US$2.2 billion, followed by Solomon Islands (US$659.8 million) and Fiji (US$637.2 million).

European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, said: “I’m convinced this report will be useful tool for the Pacific business community which will have access to an easy-to-read overview of regional trade shows and growth trends.

“For development partners as well, trade statistics are important data sources for monitoring and evaluating trade-related assistance project.”

The report shows that within the Pacific region’s primary sector, the products showing good potential are fish, wood, cocoa, virgin coconut oil and root crops.

Pacific Director- General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, added: “Agriculture, forestry and fisheries provide an important revenue source for many of our region’s farmers, fishers and enterprises.

“Fiji was the only Pacific Island nation that exported in significant quantities to other Pacific Island countries, accounting for 96 per cent of all intra-regional exports,” he said.

The 15 Pacific Island countries highlighted in the Pacific Island Trade 2010- 2014 report are Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Island, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

 

 

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  aatika.patel@fijisun.com.fj

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