The United Kingdom has begun the process of exiting the European Union and in this endeavour, it is working with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries to avoid any trade disruptions, during and post-withdrawal.
Fiji’s Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali made this comment via a Government statement, following the first technical dialogue Fiji and PNG had with the UK regarding the future of its trade relations after the UK exits the European Union, Fiji Times reports.
Mr Ali said the UK’s engagement with Fiji and PNG was under the current Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) between the EU and the Pacific States.
He said the discussions focused on the new Fiji/PNG-UK bilateral arrangement that would replicate the existing IEPA with EU, as a means to ensure continuity of trade.
“The Parties in the next stage will look at further improvements to the existing IEPA framework, post-UK’s exit from the EU,” Mr Ali was quoted saying in the statement.
“The UK, Fiji, and PNG are not renegotiating terms of the IEPA but only undertaking a technical exercise to ensure that the IEPA framework can be legally applied to Pacific’s trade with the UK, to ensure that there is no disruption to the current trade,” he added.