Home » Uncategorized » Govt positive of remaining in US GSP Scheme

Govt positive of remaining in US GSP Scheme

Government is positive that Fiji will not be suspended from the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme after having made oral and public submissions.

According to Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Shaheen Ali, they also gave a post hearing brief to the US Trade Representative office.

Ali said in addition many submissions have been made by private sector companies and associations in support for the Fijian government’s Labour Reform policies.

Currently the US Trade Representative subcommittee is going through the submissions.

Earlier the Fiji Trades Union Congress(FTUC) and other unions wanted to stop Fiji from benefitting from the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme.

The scheme is a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty free entry for up to 5,000 products imported by the US.

39 Fijian companies which export a range of products will lose their preferential access and benefits from the US GSP Scheme if Fiji is suspended.

This will mean agriculture, garments and the mineral water sector will lose their business, and these include small and medium enterprises that export niche products to the US.

Ali said ultimately, 15,000 Fijian jobs will be lost if Fiji is removed from the US GSP Scheme.

He said the impact will be felt at grass root level as more than 50% of the workers in these factories are women and are the sole bread winners in their family.

Story by: Ronal Deo

15 thoughts on “Govt positive of remaining in US GSP Scheme

  1. If we take a look at the equation the answer is simple. Draconian labour equals loss of 15,000 jobs. The answer is to remove all these inhibiting laws and the jobs will be safe. Better still if we could remove all those behind these repressive laws it would be ease a lot of pain.

  2. since when has this military regime in fiji concerned itself with impacts at the grassroots level ? since taking over power they have had one over-riding concern : how to stay on in power and harvest all the goodies of illegal state power.

  3. Fiji’s economy is not beholden to trade relationships with the US and while the foreign exchange earnings offer some respite, it does nothing for tangible benefits to the everyday Raju & Mere.

    If this comes to pass as Shaheen is already pre-emptively gloating about based on govt-to-govt communication he is privy to, the hypocritical stand of the US is now laid bare for all to see. They are quite happy to turn a blind eye and shaft law-abiding & vulnerable citizens of this country while protecting their own interests and raking it in at the same time – mahogany, natural artesian water, fish – the list goes on.

  4. One big difference between the Chinese and US.

    The US pontificate to the world about human rights, rule of law, democracy and transparency and go to bed with ditators and military Governments. Hypocracy.

    The Chinese don’t preach to anybody or bible thump. No hypocrites in Beijing. What you see is what you get.

    That should tell anyone everthing one needs to know about the honesty and decency of either power.

  5. History has shown that the US do not give a rats arse about dictators as longs as they are their dictators. A Chinese navy base in Fiji and the sanctions against Fiji role in. Oppressing the population and killing a few Fijians does not increase the heart rate of Obama and Clinton.

  6. More Peruvian and Mexican cocaine for Sydney.

    Killing a few Fijians = killing a few Australians in Sydney with cocaine and Americans too.

    Fijians can get theirs back. How ?

    Help the South American drug cartels get ther shipments through to Australia.

  7. Don’t report any foreign yachts coming into your waters or near your village.

    Don’t report any finds on any of the islands you use for fishing breaks in your tiikina’s waters.

    The Yagasa drugs were only uncovered because the villagers reported the gas cylinders to Suva.

    Reporting that information is helping the enemy who are oppressing the people. If its drugs or weapons that is not Fiji’s concern, nor is it your concern.

    Do not report to it any of the authorities if the Americans and Australians want to find it let them come and look for it themselves. Do not volunteer any information to those who oppress you.

    Sounds tactically familiar ? yes it does becaue thats the line the Taliban takes in Afghanistan to turn the poverty stricken population against the Yanks and the Government in Kabul.

    And it is also happening in Mexico and Peru and Venezuela today.

  8. Shaheem you do not deserve to be in position you are today.
    You have been put by your Muslim brotherhood – illegal Khayium
    See the debt over 6 years of illegal Taliban rule.
    You Muslims are filling your pocket.

    US will remove the preference. It is not like China.

    Cheers Felix Anthony and Daniel.

    Atleast you two are brave to take these thugs to task.

    Put more international pressure even the soldiers should be recruited by UN.

    These thugs have ruined our beautiful country.

    They must go.

    Keep the pressure Felix Anthony and Daniel.

    Other unionists are just making money and have done nothing.

  9. Budget 2013: a bundle of contradictions
    [26 Nov 2012,1630]

    New tax laws and duty increases announced in Budget 2013 will undermine business confidence and fuel inflation.

    Draconian changes announced to the tax laws in the Budget are hostile to businesses and will compel the local business community to look elsewhere for a more friendly business and investment environment.

    Likewise, the hike on fuel will increase the already high cost of transportation across the board. It will fuel inflation, penalize the poor, particularly the rural dweller and add to the high cost of doing business in Fiji.

    This so-called green tax on fossil fuel, ostensibly to encourage the use of bio and non-fossil fuels, is highly premature as alternatives for motor spirits are simply not available. In actual fact, it appears to be just an excuse to raise extra revenue for a cash-strapped regime.

    Indeed, a critical look at Budget 2013 reveals that the regime has serious cash flow problems. It is now at a precarious stage where it is forced to borrow heavily and sell its assets to stay afloat.

    The sale of its overseas mission properties to the Fiji National Provident Fund is a case in point. The buy-out by the Fund of the State’s off-shore properties which would then be leased back to the State, smells a rat, as does the proposed sale of FINTEL shares to ATH which is 58% owned by FNPF.

    It is clear that the cash-strapped regime is bent on milking the FNPF dry. The outlay by FNPF of a further $150 million to complete the failed Momi Bay project will add substantially to the already massive write down of the Fund’s assets following the completion of the Natadola resort.

    Who will oversight these deals on behalf of the Fund’s members to see they are not short-changed to rescue a bankrupt treasury?

    Equally worrying is the projected budget deficit for 2013 at 2.8% of the GDP. Viewed against Fiji’s mounting debt crisis, standing at $4 billion, (75% of the GDP including its contingent liabilities), the regime’s decision to borrow substantially next year for its capital works programmes is irresponsible and unsustainable.

    At the same time, one must regard with caution ambitious promises contained in Budget 2013 such as the $722m earmarked for capital works of which $422m is for roads and bridges.

    Indeed, an informed analysis of the regime’s past budgets will show a huge deficit between what is promised and what is actually delivered. On an average, over 60% of the projects announced in its capital budgets in the past years have remained unexecuted.

    This is why the regime refuses to publish the annual statements of government accounts and finances for public scrutiny. It is just a paper budget aimed at vote buying.

    Relief for the poor?

    The vote buying aspect of Budget 2013 is indisputable. The regime’s sudden out pouring of compassion for the poor and other social justice measures in Budget 2013, need to be weighed against its insensitive policies to date which show no real commitment to the plight of the underprivileged in society. For instance:

    • The 10% minimum wage provision for civil servants and the 10% salary increase to the unestablished sector: conflicts with the numerous deferments and cuts in the past to Wages Council-awarded pay increases for poorly paid unorganised workers in the private sector;

    • The State pension scheme for those over 70 which is definitely a theft from the Fiji Labour Party manifesto as are a few other policy measures: clearly conflicts with the regime’s approval for the 50% slash to FNPF pensions rates which has sent 90% of its elderly pensioners into acute financial distress; as well as its decision to withdraw social welfare allowances from 3000 needy recipients who have no other means of support;

    • The reduction in income taxes need to be offset against a whole series of indirect taxes such as increased duty on food and everyday consumer items which shift the tax burden to the poor who can ill afford to pay for the ever-rising cost of living;

    • Duty removal on smart phones and imported vegetables, both of which are luxury items enjoyed by the rich: is in gross conflict with the 10% duty slapped on imported liquid milk and other milk products such as milk powder and cheese. Liquid and powdered milk are food staples which are already over-priced.

    This is a grossly insensitive move that will put these essential staples virtually out of the reach of the poor in a country which produces barely 20% of its milk consumption; and where malnutrition among children is a serious concern.

    • The 5% reduction in electricity rates is welcomed but is not enough to restore to low income earners the benefits they were robbed of by the Commerce Commission and the regime in the FEA tariff restructuring exercise last year. The lifeline tariff in existence prior to the restructure, should be reinstated to assist the poor.

    Budget 2013 leaves a whole lot of other pressing questions unanswered such as:

    • Is AIR PACIFIC meeting its debt repayment obligations to FNPF?

    • Is FBC paying off its debt of $22m to. FDB and if so where is the money coming from seeing that it receives a government subsidy to the tune of $300,000 a month to stay afloat?

    • How much are the Prime Minister and his Cabinet ministers paid and by whom?

    • Why is the Mahogany industry in dire straits? Will it have a similar fate to that of the sugar industry.

    All in all, this Budget is a bundle of contradictions. It is rooted in bad policy advice. IT WILL :

    • fuel inflation
    • deter investment
    • erode business confidence
    • penalise the poor
    • destabilise State finances

    Budget 2013: a bundle of contradictions
    [26 Nov 2012,1630]

    New tax laws and duty increases announced in Budget 2013 will undermine business confidence and fuel inflation.

    Draconian changes announced to the tax laws in the Budget are hostile to businesses and will compel the local business community to look elsewhere for a more friendly business and investment environment.

    Likewise, the hike on fuel will increase the already high cost of transportation across the board. It will fuel inflation, penalize the poor, particularly the rural dweller and add to the high cost of doing business in Fiji.

    This so-called green tax on fossil fuel, ostensibly to encourage the use of bio and non-fossil fuels, is highly premature as alternatives for motor spirits are simply not available. In actual fact, it appears to be just an excuse to raise extra revenue for a cash-strapped regime.

    Indeed, a critical look at Budget 2013 reveals that the regime has serious cash flow problems. It is now at a precarious stage where it is forced to borrow heavily and sell its assets to stay afloat.

    The sale of its overseas mission properties to the Fiji National Provident Fund is a case in point. The buy-out by the Fund of the State’s off-shore properties which would then be leased back to the State, smells a rat, as does the proposed sale of FINTEL shares to ATH which is 58% owned by FNPF.

    It is clear that the cash-strapped regime is bent on milking the FNPF dry. The outlay by FNPF of a further $150 million to complete the failed Momi Bay project will add substantially to the already massive write down of the Fund’s assets following the completion of the Natadola resort.

    Who will oversight these deals on behalf of the Fund’s members to see they are not short-changed to rescue a bankrupt treasury?

    Equally worrying is the projected budget deficit for 2013 at 2.8% of the GDP. Viewed against Fiji’s mounting debt crisis, standing at $4 billion, (75% of the GDP including its contingent liabilities), the regime’s decision to borrow substantially next year for its capital works programmes is irresponsible and unsustainable.

    At the same time, one must regard with caution ambitious promises contained in Budget 2013 such as the $722m earmarked for capital works of which $422m is for roads and bridges.

    Indeed, an informed analysis of the regime’s past budgets will show a huge deficit between what is promised and what is actually delivered. On an average, over 60% of the projects announced in its capital budgets in the past years have remained unexecuted.

    This is why the regime refuses to publish the annual statements of government accounts and finances for public scrutiny. It is just a paper budget aimed at vote buying.

    Relief for the poor?

    The vote buying aspect of Budget 2013 is indisputable. The regime’s sudden out pouring of compassion for the poor and other social justice measures in Budget 2013, need to be weighed against its insensitive policies to date which show no real commitment to the plight of the underprivileged in society. For instance:

    • The 10% minimum wage provision for civil servants and the 10% salary increase to the unestablished sector: conflicts with the numerous deferments and cuts in the past to Wages Council-awarded pay increases for poorly paid unorganised workers in the private sector;

    • The State pension scheme for those over 70 which is definitely a theft from the Fiji Labour Party manifesto as are a few other policy measures: clearly conflicts with the regime’s approval for the 50% slash to FNPF pensions rates which has sent 90% of its elderly pensioners into acute financial distress; as well as its decision to withdraw social welfare allowances from 3000 needy recipients who have no other means of support;

    • The reduction in income taxes need to be offset against a whole series of indirect taxes such as increased duty on food and everyday consumer items which shift the tax burden to the poor who can ill afford to pay for the ever-rising cost of living;

    • Duty removal on smart phones and imported vegetables, both of which are luxury items enjoyed by the rich: is in gross conflict with the 10% duty slapped on imported liquid milk and other milk products such as milk powder and cheese. Liquid and powdered milk are food staples which are already over-priced.

    This is a grossly insensitive move that will put these essential staples virtually out of the reach of the poor in a country which produces barely 20% of its milk consumption; and where malnutrition among children is a serious concern.

    • The 5% reduction in electricity rates is welcomed but is not enough to restore to low income earners the benefits they were robbed of by the Commerce Commission and the regime in the FEA tariff restructuring exercise last year. The lifeline tariff in existence prior to the restructure, should be reinstated to assist the poor.

    Budget 2013 leaves a whole lot of other pressing questions unanswered such as:

    • Is AIR PACIFIC meeting its debt repayment obligations to FNPF?

    • Is FBC paying off its debt of $22m to. FDB and if so where is the money coming from seeing that it receives a government subsidy to the tune of $300,000 a month to stay afloat?

    • How much are the Prime Minister and his Cabinet ministers paid and by whom?

    • Why is the Mahogany industry in dire straits? Will it have a similar fate to that of the sugar industry.

    All in all, this Budget is a bundle of contradictions. It is rooted in bad policy advice. IT WILL :

    • fuel inflation
    • deter investment
    • erode business confidence
    • penalise the poor
    • destabilise State finances

  10. I don’t know why some people keep asking the same question : How much are the (self-appointed) Prime Minister and his Cabinet ministers paid and by whom?
    They are not getting paid. They have volunteered to serve the nation out of altruistic concern for the people of Fiji.
    see how thin they have become since taking over!

  11. “” How much are the (self-appointed) Prime Minister and his Cabinet ministers paid and by whom? “”

    Why do we keep hearing this totally stupid question ?

    If they were each recieving $30,000.00 a year and it was proved without doubt to all what bloody difference would it make ?

    If they were each recieving $500,000.00 a year and it was proved without doubt to all what bloody difference would it make ?

  12. @Reality Check
    How much the rogue rulers are siphoning off from the national kitty obviously makes no bloody difference to a stupid fala like you because you don’t believe in democratic accountability and transparency.
    People like you would be happy to give the rulers an open licence to rule anyway they wanted – by decree and by coercion.
    Thank God everyone is not stupid like you.

  13. Oh tattifall what a pity you do not put your brain into gear before hitting the keyboard. But then again undertaking two things at once is something that has to be practised.

    So, lets make things easy for you.

    1. Firstly read my post again……….

    2. Now ask yourself this question. ‘Is my opinion (that’s YOU) of this government going to change whether they are each being paid $30,000 OR $500,000 each a year ?’

    I suspect your answer is going to be ‘NO’, get it now.

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