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Extension of SPARTECA Provision Scheme on the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Industry for Fiji

The extension of the trading scheme by Australia means that under the agreement, certain textiles, clothing and footwear goods that are manufactured in Forum Island Countries (FICs) including Fiji will be exported to Australian and New Zealand markets on a duty free basis. The scheme has been extended till 31st December 2014.

The garment and footwear manufacturing industry is a major contributor to Fiji’s economy, generating millions of dollars in exports each year. The Minister for Foreign Affairs for Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola welcoming this scheme highlighted that the TCF industry plays an important role in alleviating poverty and engendering social equity.

“90% of employees in the industry are women and in most cases the sole bread winner. The industry employs 4000 workers but indirectly impacts nearly 12,000 people. Through the scheme, there is potential to turn the garment industry around and increase its contribution towards Fiji’s GDP and social development,” said Ratu Inoke.

The South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA) was signed by most Forum members at the Forum’s Eleventh Meeting in Kiribati on 14th of July, 1980. It came into effect for most Forum Island Countries from 1st January, 1981.

For Fiji in particular, the extension means that the major markets for Fiji’s TCF output will not face any potential loss of revenue due to the elimination of a relief mechanism that has provided genuine competitive support.


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Posted on: January 26 at 10:45 am
 

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