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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

PNG eyes more Fiji trade, Ox & Palm trade war expected to be resolved soon

Papua New Guinea is determined to have more trade missions with Fiji, says Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru.

Maru was commenting on the recent impasse between the two sister countries, stating that the issue was a thing of the past and needs to be solved so that both countries can look forward to signing the Melanesian Spearhead Group trade agreement number three.

“We are determined to have more of your trade missions and we would like to bring our products to the Bula country, and this dialogue over the next few days is very important to us as well, and I want to assure you every support of our government and team and we look forward to the positive conclusion and the outcome that we all desire as we want free trade in the MSG area.

“So we’re very proud of this agreement and the way it’s going, because the most important thing with the MSG trade agreement number three is that it will not only cover the trading of goods however the next one will cover services and labour mobility so that Papua New Guineans can be able to go work in Fiji and vice versa.”

Maru said the issues have never been included in the previous trade agreements, therefore the Government aims to conclude that by this Christmas so that they can sign off before the elections.

He said the trade agreement has been negotiated for the past four years, so if the issue of trade impasse concludes between Fiji and PNG the four countries represented under MSG can be able to finalise bigger agreement which will have a big impact for all four countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, the row over the export of PNG’s Ox & Palm bully beef to Fiji is expected to be resolved this week between the two countries now holding trade talks in Port Moresby.

A team of four from Fiji’s ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and Biosecurity Authority arrived in Port Moresby last Saturday for talks to iron out differences this week. The Fijian delegation included Fiji Trade Commissioner to PNG Navitalai Tiuvuniwai, chief veterinarian Dr Sian Watson, chief plant protection officer Nilesh Ami Chand and team leader, trade facilitation and compliance Ronal Prasad.

The PNG delegation includes officials from the Department of Trade Commerce and Industry, Department of the PM and NEC, NAQIA, NISIT, Department of Justice and Attorney General, PNG high Commissioner to Fiji Lucy Bogari, DAL and DOE.

The 12-year impasse is expected to be a main agenda after having prominently featured by Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru in a war of words with Fiji over the last couple of months over biosecurity fears.

Maru in welcoming the Fiji delegation said the issue of Ox and Palm is an old one for the two countries for over 12 years without proper dialogue and is hoping the three day meet will help to solve the issue.

Maru said he is expecting full co-operation from both teams to solve these issues and hopes the Fiji team can be able to tell PNG what is wrong with its products.

“It is my hope that we will work together as Melanesian friends and wantoks over the next three days so that we can resolve our very issue,” he said. and get stuck on the big MSG trade agreement number three which is a really big thing we want to get done this year.

“I will do whatever it takes on my part to pull in all the information you require from the companies concerned so you can complete the task that has been given to you and it is our expectation and our hope that this so called impasse will be a thing of the past and we can move on. “The PNG government is very keen to complete the MSG 3 as we don’t want this small impasse to be a blockade or hindrance to a greater step we need to take as the sub regional trading block,” he said.


Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 3:21 PM. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article


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