Trade Agreements


Since Fiji’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1996, the Government has adopted an export oriented and outward-looking trade policy. The WTO provides secure and predictable market access to more than 153 Members. It helps Fiji pursue free trade and minimize trade distortions. In this context, Fiji has gradually liberalized its trade and reduced import restrictions in favor of export promotion, and this has resulted in increased volumes of exports and imports. The more open trading approach has led to increased prosperity and opportunities in the economy, creating thousands of jobs in industries like tourism.

Over the years, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) has been one of the regional organizations playing a vital role in promoting regional integration. PIFS developed a key document, the Pacific Plan, which is instrumental in strengthening regional cooperation and integration  and was adopted by Leaders in 2005. The goal of the Pacific Plan is to “enhance and stimulate economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security for the Pacific countries through regionalism”. With regards to economic growth, PIFS is coordinating regional policies on regional and international trade, private sector development, aviation, marine transport, information and communication technologies (ICT) and energy amongst other things. PIFS has gradually developed into a regional organization for coordinating external policies and strengthening regional cooperation and integration.

Aside from the WTO, Fiji is also a party to a number of regional trade agreements. Fiji views regional integration as a key stepping stone towards fuller participation in the increasingly liberalized global economy. As an island country with a small market, regional integration plays a vital role in creating a larger trade and investment market for Fiji.

Some of the trade agreements to which Fiji is a party include:
  • The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Trade Agreement which is a free trade agreement that allows trade to take place freely between Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands;
  • The Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), which seeks to establish a free trade area among the fourteen Forum Island Countries (FICs).
     Seven Countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) have completed the necessary domestic requirements and have announced their readiness to trade. Four countries (Kiribati, Nauru, PNG and Tonga) have announced that they are in the process of completing their domestic requirements soon in order to trade under PICTA. The Federated States of Micronesia
    (FSM), Republic of Palau and the Republic of Marshall Islands are yet to accede to PICTA.
  • The Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) which by Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and the European Community and signed by Fiji in December 2009. The IEPA provides duty free and quota free market access on all products from Fiji except for sugar and rice, which are subjected to longer transitional periods. Most importantly, the IEPA also provides for improved rules of origin, especially in fisheries, and this allows investors based in Fiji to use fish caught using any boats (global sourcing) and export it to the EU, provided that the fish is landed and processed (canned) in Fiji. Fiji is still negotiating a  comprehensive EPA in order to deepen its trade relationship with the EU over time;
  • The South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA), which is a non-reciprocal agreement that allows Fiji and other Forum Island Countries (FICs) to export almost all of their products to Australia and New Zealand duty free. Fiji also benefits from the SPARTECA-TCF Scheme which allows its textiles, clothing and footwear (except wool and wool blend fabrics) to be exported to Australia duty free under more favourable rules of origin;
  • The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER), which is a framework agreement for cooperation on trade and economic integration between the fourteen FICs and Australia and New Zealand, with a view towards the development of a single regional market. It also provides for assistance to FICs including Fiji, to enable them to address customs matters, standards and conformance and quarantine issues.
The involvement of Fiji in these arrangements shows that the Government is fully committed to trade liberalization. This will help enhance the volume of Fiji’s trade with its regional trading partners as well as the rest of the world. Fiji is also trying to diversify its trading markets by engaging with other neighboring developing countries under the South-South Cooperation.

The South-South Cooperation seeks to promote economic and technical cooperation among developing countries and is an important complement to North-South cooperation. The role of technical cooperation among developing countries for industrial development is widely recognized. The growing importance of developing countries in world trade is associated with a sharp rise in manufactured exports and an increasing role of South-South trade in commodities and manufactures. Fiji contributes towards South – South Cooperation through its exports, exchange of resources, technology, and institutional capacity building through training and other exchanges with other developing countries in the South Pacific region. 


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