PNG Ambassador Kalinoe: It is now a trade diplomacy issue, Fiji must comply

PNG Ambassador Kalinoe: It is now a trade diplomacy issue, Fiji must comply

5:23 pm GMT+12, 24/08/2016, Papua New Guinea

 Papua New Guinea reserves the right to invoke the Geneva process and other measures within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) through diplomatic process to stop Fiji from expanding its trading list into the country.
This is if Fiji does not honour its commitment under the WTO rules, says PNG’s Ambassador to the European Union and WTO, Joshua Kalinoe in Brussels.
Kalinoe was commenting on the impasse that has developed between PNG and Fiji on the exports of corned beef and rice to Fiji.
He said that as WTO member states of the Pacific Islands the two must comply with its rules when implementing free trade agreements that are WTO-compliant.
He noted that PNG, through the Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru, is addressing the issue in compliance with international trade practice.
“Papua New Guinea has followed the correct process and practice during the past 10 years for Fiji to allow the disputed products to enter its market.
“The report by NAQIA, an internationally recognised certification authority, has found no technical or trade related issues that warrant a ban by Fiji. It is therefore clear that Fiji is using protective measures to protect its corned beef manufacturing industry which is contrary to the WTO rules of trade,” Kalinoe said.  
He said that WTO is a transparent and rules-based organisation and as such its members, including PNG and Fiji, are expected to enforce these principles when implementing WTO-compliant free trade agreements like the MSG Free Trade Agreement.
“Fiji appears to be imposing protective barriers. My recommendation is for diplomatic and trade officials to meet to discuss the issues of concern and settle the matter within the spirit and intent of the MSG Free Trade Agreement. It is now a trade diplomacy issue,” he said.


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