Treaty brings benefits

The Fiji Times:

Saturday, 17 May 2014

FIJI has been urged to join the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) to further strengthen its trade partnership with countries like Korea, China and India.

Facilitated by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APTA is the oldest preferential regional trade agreement among developing countries in the Asia Pacific.

ESCAP Trade and Investment Division director Dr Ravi Ratnayake said there were a number of benefits for the country if it became part of the treaty.

"Fiji has a very small market. So it needs to be linked with the rest of the world and when we talk about linking to other markets, I think, Asia is the best place because of the dynamic countries within its region," he said.

"If Fiji joins APTA, there may be an opportunity for you to diversify your products and have a diverse number of countries that you export to.

"In the long-run, Fiji will be able to link with Asia through APTA and benefit through trade investments and services and various co-operation mechanisms."

Meanwhile, Pacific Islands Trade and Invest Economic Governance director Shiu Raj said regional countries should make use of the economic opportunities that came with the treaty.

"Integrating Pacific Island Forum Secretariat economies, regionally and internationally, and building closer economic linkages with larger economic blocs, such as Asia-Pacific, are viable options in overcoming the idiosyncratic challenges of limited market size of the Pacific islands," he said.

Read story: The Fiji Times

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