FIJI AND AUSTRALIA CONCLUDE NEW BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 4, 1999 - PACNEWS/INCL)---Fiji and Australia have concluded negotiations over a new trade agreement designed to enhance trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Fiji Government already has approved the text of the agreement.

Fiji strongly pursued the agreement after its lucrative garment industry was affected by a decline in the comparative advantage and trade benefits of the regional trade agreement, SPARTECA, the South Pacific Area Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, under which Fiji garments and other products entered Australia duty free.

The Fiji Government reported the new agreement was negotiated to increase trade in an increasingly deregulated international trade market.

The agreement will complement and supplement SPARTECA, but will eventually become the main instrument of economic cooperation between Fiji and Australia.

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