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Friday, 04 February 2011

Papua New Guinea could lose trade deal if Thailand benefits

The European Parliament has asked the European Commission (EC) to suspend the exceptions to the rules of origin given to Papua New Guinea (PNG) if the deal this year proves to have “a disruptive impact” on European industry. European Ministers expressed their concern that the exceptions to the rules of origin for PNG and now also Fiji will become a platform for processing and export, benefiting China, Philippines, Thailand, USA and Australia. Besides the fishery products from PNG, also those from Fiji will be able to enter the EU market more easily, after the European Parliament (EP) approved a trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the two Pacific countries. The economic partnership agreement provides for the elimination of tariffs and more flexible rules of origin for various food products, such as canned and frozen tuna. That is, the fishery resources of PNG and Fiji will have to meet less stringent conditions for exporting to the EU.

Source: Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)