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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Pacific nations fret over Brexit

Britain's vote to leave the European Union is raising concern among Pacific nations, which include a number of former British colonies, about the outlook for some of their major exports. EU trade preferences prop up the price of Fijian sugar and permit duty-free imports of other Pacific agricultural goods, including palm oil, coffee, coconuts, and fish and caviar. Pacific shipments to the EU amounted to 1.3 billion euros ($1.43 billion) last year and are particularly important to the region's larger economies. The U.K. is Fiji's second largest merchandise export market, after Australia, and EU shipments account for close to 6% of Papua New Guinea's gross domestic product. "Concerns have emerged on the effects of Britain's exit," Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Barry Whiteside warned in a quarterly monetary policy statement a week after the vote. The EU's existing preferences particularly benefit former British colonies like Fiji in a bloc known as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, or ACP. Several of the former Pacific colonies still incorporate the Union Jack in their flags, and the EU is the second largest aid donor to ACP Pacific states, after Australia.

Source: asia.nikkei.com