Fiji`s sugar industry accounts for 40% of total merchandise exports and 11% of the island`s GDP. About 90% of raw sugar production is exported, more than half of which is sold under preferential agreements, mainly to the EU under the Lom Agreement and to Australia and New Zealand under the South Pacific Agreement on Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation (SPARTECA). Clothing is the country`s most important export (almost 30%), with production increasing fivefold between 1986 and 1995. Apparel exports have doubled since the late 1980s, supported by Fiji`s Tax Free Factory Exemption Scheme, which grants exemptions from export earnings totalling more than $6,600 per year. The report notes that Fiji`s preferential trade advantages for its sugar and clothing exports are beginning to be undermined, with industrialized countries reducing their tariffs on these items. He notes that both sectors need efficiency gains to remain competitive. The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) was established in 1986 between the three Melanesian Pacific Island States (PICs) of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA) was concluded by these countries in 1993. In the cultural, historical, political and commercial importance of Anah, Fiji joined the group in 1996 and the MSGTA in 1998. Trade liberalization has had a mixed impact on manufacturing. Some companies have experienced greater efficiency thanks to internal restructuring and the introduction of new initiatives, such as investment in new technologies, skills upgrading, new procurement targets and new export markets. Others have strengthened their export orientation or adapted their input palette to changes in the price structure. Resource transfers took place, but most were within firms, with few job losses.
In the past, local businesses had soared to capture a larger share of the Fijian market. After trade liberalization, they became more targeted and focused their operations on fewer activities. They focused their activities in particular on sectors where they could compete internationally. Picta is a key instrument on which 14 Pacific Island States (IPCs) have agreed to promote regional cooperation and integration through trade. PICTA`s accession jeopardizes the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Picta was signed in 2001 and implementation of the agreement began in 2007. However, only seven countries, namely the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, have announced their willingness to trade under PICTA and are currently implementing the agreement. The total population of the CICs is over 10 million people and is a very important market for Fijian products. In the true spirit of the Pacific, Fiji will continue to be required to assist other CISCs in implementing PICTA merchandise trade. Discussions are under way on IPCs for the revision and revision of the rules of origin applicable to trade in goods.
The aim is to ensure that the application of the rules is easily understandable and enforced. PACER was signed in August 2001 and entered into force in October 2002. It is not a free trade agreement, but a framework agreement («Umbrella») for trade cooperation and economic integration between the 14 ACC and Australia and New Zealand with a view to developing a regional single market. It also supports the FIU under the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (RTFP), which aims to address customs, standards, compliance and quarantine issues. PACER provides for the negotiation of forum-wide trade agreements eight years after the entry into force of PICTA (2011) or earlier, when the CICs conclude a free trade agreement with a developed country or a country with a gross domestic product higher than that of New Zealand. . . .