Ministry calls for inclusive National Trade Policy Framework
The Ministry of Industry and Trade, with the assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat Hubs & Spoke programme and the European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, has commissioned a project to develop Fiji’s first national Trade Policy Framework said the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Mr. Shaheen Ali.
“The purpose of a national Trade Policy Framework is to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach in Fiji’s trade policy to better maximize development gains, by enhancing Fijian industries, investment, exports and trade. It is expected that the final Trade Policy Framework will be the guiding framework for Fiji on becoming a more competitive and dynamic economy, covering all the sectors of the economy. The ultimate goal is to create employment and raise the standard of living for all Fijians”, said Mr. Ali.
The first stage of the process involved one-on-one consultations with all relevant stakeholders from the public and private sectors and the civil society, which began in June/July this year, followed by the first consultative forum on 19 July 2013, stated Mr. Shaheen Ali.
“The consultant Prof Robert Scollay of the University of Auckland will present the first draft of the Trade Policy Framework at a National Workshop on “Charting the Future of Fiji’s Trade in the Global Economy”, held on 13-14 September 2013”, added the Permanent Secretary.
Mr. Ali further stated that Fiji’s national Trade Policy Framework, needs the support, contribution and ownership from all segments of the Fijian society i.e. industry experts and practitioners including, private sector, civil society, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders.
“This Framework needs to reflect the realities on the ground and ensure that effective solutions as well as the necessary resources are found to address the many challenges Fiji faces in expanding trade and investment”, said Mr. Ali.
“A well-designed Trade Policy Framework can support the competitiveness of Fijian firms at each stage of the supply chain by creating efficient infrastructure services, promoting exports and foreign investment, improving access to inputs and capital goods and moving goods across borders effectively by addressing export market issues”, added Mr. Ali.
The Framework can also address the inherent and overriding constraints faced by both public and private sectors, at every stage of production and distribution of goods and services for export”, said the Permanent Secretary.
“The Workshop will not only look at the Trade Policy Framework from the Consultant’s point of view, but will also include presentations from experts from the Fiji’s key sectors such as Agriculture, Sugar, Tourism, Manufacturing, Services and Investment” added Mr. Ali.
The National Workshop on Fiji’s Trade Policy Framework will be opened by the Hon. Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and attended by the Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.