Stakeholders meet to finalise trade framework

Trade stakeholders meet today in Suva to discuss and finalise the country's Trade Policy Framework hoped to enhance Fiji's trade and investment, promote growth sectors and create jobs.

The policy is envisaged to be launched in late-August this year. Addressing stakeholders from government and the private sector at the Trade Policy Framework Validation Workshop in Suva today, Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali said they needed to put their differences aside and work together to ensure the framework achieves its target which is to position Fiji into an internationally competitive economy serving as the "Hub of the Pacific."

"The purpose of the framework is to ensure continuation of coordinated and consistent approach in our national development agenda, to better maximize development gains, by enhancing Fijian industries, investment, exports of goods and services, as well as advance Fiji’s interest in international trade negotiations.

"In essence, the development of a coherent trade policy framework aims to govern and guide the national stakeholders in the conduct of domestic, bilateral, regional and international trade."

The framework he says also takes into account the realities of Fiji's trade capacity, constraints and resources needed to meet the demands and realities of the international trade environment.

During the workshop, stakeholders were divided into four thematic groups and went through the draft report, going through the respective chapter contents and recommendations that were received in the over 100 individual consultation sessions during the drafting period since last year.

Once the framework is finalised, stakeholders will also conclude the implementation matrix that will outline Fiji's needs and resources needed to implement the recommendations.

(Source: Fijilive)