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Fiji-PNG discuss trade relations with UK post-Brexit

Fiji and Papua New Guinea had the first technical dialogue with the United Kingdom regarding the future of its trade relations after the UK exits the European Union.

The Fijian delegation led by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism permanent secretary Shaheen Ali convened a meeting in Brisbane, Australia on March 20-21, 2018.

“The UK has begun the process of exiting the European Union (EU) and in this endeavour the UK is working with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to avoid any trade disruptions, during and post withdrawal,” Ali said.

“UK’s engagement with Fiji and PNG is under the current Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) between the EU and the Pacific States. The discussions focused on the new Fiji/PNG-UK bilateral arrangement that will replicate the existing IEPA with EU, as a means to ensure continuity of trade. The Parties in the next stage will look at further improvements to the existing IEPA framework, post UK’s exit from the EU.”

“The UK, Fiji and PNG are not re-negotiating terms of the IEPA but only undertaking a technical exercise to ensure that the IEPA framework can be legally applied to Pacific’s trade with the UK, to ensure that there is no disruption to the current trade,” Ali added.

The parties also discussed avenues to advance, deepen and strengthen the current trade through improving the IEPA and ensuring that it would serve the needs of the private sector and facilitate the integration of developing countries like Fiji and PNG into the global trading system. ..

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