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It is business as usual in PNG’s trade relations with the United Kingdom (UK), says Papua New Guinea Department of Commerce secretary Andrew Liliura.
In a paid public notice, Liliura said businesses trading with UK should rest assured that the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom have agreed on an extension to Article 50 until October 31 this year for UK not to leave the EU unless a withdrawal agreement has been approved in the UK parliament before the deadline.
He said this after suspending the department’s plans to exchange notifications with the UK for the provisional application of the UK-Pacific states economic partnership agreement (EPA).
He said since UK’s announcement to leave the EU in 2016, the Department of Commerce has been closely monitoring the political developments in the UK and swiftly responded to the concerns raised by industries or enterprises trading with the UK.
Hence, this is the reason the department has entered into a UK-Pacific EPA deal which is a tripartite agreement with the UK and Fiji to maintain our current market access arrangements.
“The UK-Pacific EPA basically retains the effects of the EU-Pacific Interim Partnership Agreement (EU-Pacific EPA). This agreement basically allows the UK to immediately provide duty-free quota-free access to goods form PNG and other Pacific States.
In exchange, the Pacific States commit to more gradual tariff liberalisation. However, sensitive products are excluded from full liberalisation as it is already in the exiting EU-Pacific EPA framework,”Liliura said.
“The agreement allows for both parties to take measures to protect their markets in particular circumstances. The EPA envisages development assistance from the UK to ensure effective implementation and that the opportunities it offers can be fully realised by the Pacific States.”
This statement also came after the Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato officially announced that Papua New Guinea has signed a trade continuity agreement which will see British businesses and consumers benefiting from continued trading arrangements.
The agreement was signed last month will eliminate all tariffs on all goods imported from PNG into United Kingdom and will gradually remove around 80 per cent of tariffs on British Exports to PNG and will have particular benefit on Palm Oil and tuna.
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