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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Fiji sends Biosecurity experts to PNG

The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) has confirmed it will send a team to Papua New Guinea this week to meet its counterpart — the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA).

BAF executive chairman Xavier Khan said he hoped to resolve the biosecurity issue surrounding the Ox and Palm corned beef, Trukai rice and other PNG products.

“We can confirm that there's interest from local companies (to import the products) so we are working to open the pathway so the biscuits the Ox and Palm and the Trukai rice can come in.”

“Once the conditions are drawn out and agreed upon, which is through the normal mutual process of World Trade Organisation conditions, then we'll negotiate the permits.”

The refusal by Fiji's biosecurity to allow the products into the country had caused a trade impasse between PNG and Fiji with outspoken PNG Trade Minister Richard Maru questioning the ban.

“In terms of actual trade, our trade relations are in favour of Fiji as PNG imports more from Fiji than what it exports. As parties to the Melanesian Spear head Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA), I would like to see these issues resolved at your level so as not to damage our good trading relations,” he stated.

In 2014 PNG imported $31.5 million (US$15.2 million) worth of products from Fiji while it exported $2.8m (US$1.3 million).

Khan said their plant protection officer and trade compliant team leader would meet the Ox and Palm manufacturer and the Trukai rice company to carry out the necessary risk requirements.

Meanwhile, Minister for Trade Faiyaz Koya said Fiji would carry out its objective in the Melanesian Spearhead Group spirit in respect to MSG matters.

“There are other things that do get exported to PNG and while it's the responsibility of each country to protect the health and safety of human, animal or plant life, it is also imperative that what is undertaken is a proper establishment framework,” he said.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 6:44 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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