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Asia is being touted as the new frontier for trade and investment.
Pacific Island Forum Trade Officials met Tuesday to set agenda for ministers who will discuss the future of various regional and international agreements.
Permanent Secretary for Trade Shaheen Ali chaired the high level meeting, making the case that the Asian market deserves more attention.
“We need to harness the opportunities presented by other regions. In fact the centre of global economic gravity is fast moving towards the Asia/Pacific region”.
Ali pointed out that China and India are the fastest growing economies in the world, projected to surpass many global powerhouse.
The Pacific Island Forum Secretariat also supports diversifying trade and investment to Asia and the Unites States. The issue will be discussed at length over the next two days.
Negotiations over the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union have stalled for years.
Fiji wants fresh talks, but only if the EU treats the Pacific as equals.
“The EU has been a crucial development partner for the region, however they have also taken harmful unilateral actions in declaring our tax jurisdictions unfavourable and some of our fisheries unsustainable”.
Ali adds that Pacific economies need to band together under the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement which to date only has a handful of signatories.
Trade Ministers will also discuss ways to fend off economic impacts of the US/China trade war and the Coronavirus outbreak.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
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