FIJI AWAITS AUSTRALIAN RESPONSE ON ITS GARMENT EXPORT REQUEST

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SUVA, Fiji (April 20, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Foreign Minister Berenado Vunibobo says Fiji is likely to hear from the Australian government regarding Fiji's partial tax reduction request in the next two to three weeks.

Because of the 20 percent devaluation of the Fiji dollar, the Fiji government has requested that Australia allow a 10 percent reduction in the SPARTECA Rules of Origin agreement. The accord requires that Fiji-manufactured garments exported to Australia contain at least 50 percent local material.

Vunibobo says there are legitimate factors delaying Australia's decision. Officials need to make certain, he says, that a decision in favor of Fiji will not adversely affect Australian garment makers.

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