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Big Shift In Range Of Our Exports

A significant shift in the range of products that Fiji exports to the region and the world has been noted.

Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, has highlighted that Fiji has moved from exporting traditionally sugar and fish to a number of products.

He was speaking in Papua New Guinea during the Melanesian Spearhead Group Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair. Mr Ali said these exports include gold, garments and footwear, mineral water, timber and timber products, processed foods, manufactured products and agro-products.

He further indicated in terms of total trade, Fiji’s traditional partners Australia and New Zealand still remain the largest trading partners.

However, he said over the period of past three years (2011-2013), total trade with Australia has been declining.

"With the declining trade with Australia, Fiji is making ground with non-traditional trade partners such as China and the Pacific Island countries," he said.

"Trade with China has grown by 35 per cent (period 2012 to 2013) i.e. from $424.1 million to $572.1 million."

Trading partners

Mr Ali further highlighted that Fiji's global trading pattern since 2006 has changed significantly.

"Despite Australia, New Zealand, US and UK, still being the main markets, there has been shifts as new countries have joined the ranks of top 10 key markets," he said.

"In fact, since 2006, Fiji's trading partners have increased by over 120 countries. This indicates the fact that Fiji's trading horizons is increasing.

"Comparison of exports for 2012 and 2013, depict a major shift with regards to export destinations.

"In 2012, there were only two pacific island countries (American Samoa and Vanuatu) in the top ten.

"In 2013, there were four Pacific Island countries (Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu) in the top ten."

 Mr Ali said Pacific Island countries have become a very important market for Fijian exports.

"Exports to Pacific Island countries as a proportion of total exports is 25 per cent, which is a three per cent increase from 2012."

"However, MSG as proportion of the PICs trade just constitute 27 per cent."

(Source: Fiji Sun)