SUNBIZ

Koya Mum On Trade Threats

With trade threats from Papua New Guinea still looming, our Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, remained mum on Fiji’s stand on the issue. Papua New Guinea’s
01 Sep 2016 12:46
Koya Mum On Trade Threats
PNG Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru with Fiji Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya.

With trade threats from Papua New Guinea still looming, our Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, remained mum on Fiji’s stand on the issue.

Papua New Guinea’s Post Courier newspaper yesterday reported PNG Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru has refused to adhere to Fiji’s invitation for a bilateral meeting to resolve the embarrassing trade impasse between the two countries.

Mr Maru was quoted saying he had declined the invitation from Mr Koya. As it stood, the deadline given by Mr Maru to Fiji to lift the ban on Ox & Palm corned beef, among other products was yesterday.

Mr Koya had earlier in August written to Mr Maru to travel to Fiji so that both could resolve the trade impasse that was causing tension between the two biggest South Pacific nations.

But Mr Maru has suggested that Mr Koya travels to PNG instead.

“I will not go down to Fiji. Fiji has to lift the ban and come here to sort this out as I have already written to them declining the offer to go to Fiji, but will happily receive them if they come here,” he said.

“They have a day to decide and respond to the ultimatum as I cannot go to them, but if they want further discussions to solve the issue Fiji has to comply and fly to PNG.”

Fiji Sun’s attempts to contact Mr Koya all day yesterday was not successful as he kept disconnecting the call.

However, the Post Courier, quoted Mr Koya saying he had not received the 14-day letter of notice from Mr Maru but his offer to have a bilateral meeting with the PNG Trade Minister still stood.

Mr Maru said if Fiji did not comply and lift the ban he would have to take the issue to another level by cutting out all trade deals with Fiji.

Earlier statement

Mr Koya had earlier announced that there are no bans placed by Fiji on food items or imports from Papua New Guinea, especially the Ox & Palm corned beef, Trukai Rice and Nambawan Biscuit.

Mr Koya said the two countries had not established a bilateral biosecurity pathway to enable the ease of trade between them.

This included imports of broccoli and potatoes from PNG, export of poultry from Fiji, as well as the Ox & Palm corned beef among other products.

He said another reason was there were no importers in Fiji who applied to import the PNG products, specifically the Ox & Palm corned beef.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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