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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Delivery may change but aid to Pacific remains: UK

The United Kingdom's planned exit from the European Union will not affect its services to the Pacific, according to the British High Commissioner to Fiji. This was despite 15 percent of the EU's spending in the region coming from its UK contributions. The British High Commissioner to Fiji, Roddy Drummond.The British High Commissioner to Fiji, Roddy Drummond. Roddy Drummond said modes of delivery would have to change but he said the UK and the EU have a shared vision for supporting development in the Pacific. "The EU programmes that exist at the moment are very much things that, you know, follow, pursue priorities that we think are important as well, so how that will change when we are no longer part of things remains to be seen in years to come," he said. "But it may be that there is not as much change as people think, except in how we deliver these programs." However Mr Drummond said changes would have to be made from a UK perspective to trade deals such as the European Partnership Agreements being negotiated in the region. Britain's planned exit from the European Union will bring changes to trade deals such as the Economic Partnership Agreements being negotiated in the region. Currently only Papua New Guinea and Fiji would be directly affected having already signed interim agreements granting them duty free access to EU markets. Roddy Drummond said there might also be effects on other arrangements for agricultural commodities such as Fiji's sugar exports. "That regime with price support is due to finish in 2017 in any case so there will have to be changes in the next couple of years in terms of how producers of those kind of products approach the European market and approach the British market in the future." Fiji sugar is mostly bought by British-based company Tate and Lyle for the EU market.

Source: Radio New Zealand