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Trade ban on Australia & NZ may damage economy

24
Jan '07
Fiji's Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama had previously threatened to take penal action against Australia and New Zealand if they imposed travel bans on people working for the interim regime.

Private sector has alerted that if trade between Fiji and both its regional partners is interrupted, country's economy will suffer greatly.

Interim regime executing the threat will cause losses worth $1.5 billion per year to both regional partners. All three nations must join hands and chalk out a practical solution to the problem.

Country imports goods worth $1.26 billion from Australia and $300 million from New Zealand every year. Business community expressed fear that implementation of retaliatory measures would hamper trade severely.

Fiji imports textiles and raw materials from Australia, it also depends on both nations for its garment and shoe exports. Trade ban could break down local apparel sector and lay off 8,000 people according to Ramesh Solanki, President of Fiji Textile Clothing and Footwear Council.


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