Home » Uncategorized » Fiji’s Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions

Fiji’s Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions

 

A red alert is on for two of Fiji’s major export commodities—fish, which earns around $200 million in foreign exchange annually—and sugar, which rakes in around $100 million a year. This follows the possible blacklisting of Fiji by the European Union (EU) for having weak laws to tackle illegal fishing, and  the possible increase in duty for sugar exports, in case the country does not ratify the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA). In November last year a decision by the European Commission named eight countries that export to the EU—Fiji and Vanuatu from the Pacific region were among them—as possible non-cooperating third countries to EU’s fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The pressure is now on these eight countries to update their laws so they can tackle weak areas that have been identified by the EU; they are given a six-month window for dialogue and drawing up a plan of action. The worst-case scenario if they don’t comply is a loss of EU market access for their fish. Fiji, one of the ‘flagrant cases’, is being cited, among other things, for having no laws to punish Fiji-flagged vessels and Fijian nationals illegally fishing beyond Fiji waters, especially in the high seas; for not reporting on the number of vessels fishing for swordfish; This latest announcement on fish by the EU is on the heels of a decision it made on sugar which ‘somewhat twists Fiji’s arm to ratify the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) it has with the EU’, Island Business notes. In that decision made in September last year, the Fiji was a list of 18 countries from the African Caribbean and Pacific trade bloc (ACP) who will lose preferential market access for their sugar (under the current sugar protocol) if they don’t ratify the iEPA by January 1, 2014. Fiji is looking at going from zero duty (according to the current sugar protocol) at entry to forking out up to €339 (F$769) in import duty per tonne of raw cane sugar it exports to the EU if it does not ratify the iEPA by January 1, 2014. That is considered to render Fiji’s sugar business not feasible. Moreover, unlike fish, which had only recently been allowed back into the EU market after Fiji was blacklisted in 2008 for failing EU’s phytosanitary standards, sugar has consistently been Fiji’s main export to the EU. Island Business further says  that the importance of it sugar sector was the main reason that Fiji went ahead to sign an iEPA in 2009 for, unlike fish, where local fish exporters diversified to other markets after the 2008 ban, getting sugar a new market at the prevailing world price against the cost of production locally was going to mean the collapse of Fiji’s sugar industry. In addition, almost 25 percent of Fiji’s labour force is dependent on Fiji’s trade with the EU. Officials of the Fijian Government assured earlier this year that despite the long process of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations, mutual beneficial outcomes could be reached soon.
Source: Islands Business

5 thoughts on “Fiji’s Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions

  1. This is devastating news for Fiji. The fish and sugar industries are essential to Fiji’s economy. The ramifications of the EU’s decision will result in job losses and increased poverty.

    If tourism is also affected then we have the disaster trifecta.

    The Attorney General and the Prime Minister have thumbed their noses at Australia and New Zealand. They have thumbed their noses at the EU. Will China save them. Highly unlikely. China and Australia have an important economic relationship. Fiji is essentially insignificant to China, despite what the Prime Minister thinks.

    The Prime Minister’s arrogance and belligerence is coming home to haunt him. The huge pay packets of the PM, AG and CJ can no longer be sustained. These over inflated salaries could never be justified in the first place. Each are being paid well above their regional counterparts.

    How will Fiji pay its public servants in time to come? Borrow?

    The incompetence of the PM and AG has now left Fiji in a state of disrepair. A return to democracy and the rule of law is the only thing that can save Fiji. That is, a Military Commander who is prepared to accept the directives of a democratic parliament.

    Rabuka has publicly apologised for his errors of judgment in Fiji’s modern history. Bainimarama will not apologise or back down. His position is all too clear.

    IF I GO DOWN I AM TAKING EVERYONE WITH ME

  2. …the regime so busy dishing out decrees left right and centre…they’ve neglected the bigger issues at stake…’woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have OMITTED the weightier matters of the law, judgement and mercy, and faith…these ought ye to have done and not to leave the other undone…’ this country’s gone to the dogs…and the rot has started from the very top when even the top man condones lawlessness… qorvis.giving us poor value for our 40m pa…..!!

  3. SO ALL THE EFFORT SAHEEN DID ON THE MEETING WITH THEM LAST MONTH WAS FOR NOTHING? MAY BE HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. ALL HIS ASSURANCE AND STRATEGIES TALKS PRIOR TO THE MEETING IS JUST BULLSHIT AND HES WASTING TAX PAYERS MONEY TO BE IN THAT POSTION. WANTS TO LOOK SMART WITH HIS STUPID UNDERQUALIFY FACE ON THE TV AND HOPE THAT BAINIMAGANA LACK OF EDUCATION DIDNT NOTICE!!!!

  4. this is devastating news indeed for fiji. a country run by idiots. all they are interested in is to stay in power and line their pockets. shame on them.

  5. 我々はすでにブログでここに歴史ティンバーランドの歴史と絡み合っている当社の製品・アイコン、イエローブーツ、の話を持っています。そしてティンバーランドイエローブーツのようなものだが、この話をここに多くのことをお話しましょう、この10月40歳の誕生日を行います!ニューイングランドの米国地域の木こりに作業ブーツは寒さと雨の天候に直面しているとして、イエローブーツは1973年に生まれました。しかし、80年代に何かが起こった:それは、その特徴的な黄色の革ヌバックと素朴で上品なプレミアムでアウトドアライフの自由を象徴する、スタイルアイコンになりました。

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