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SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 27, 1999 – Fiji Daily Post)---Fiji’s textile industry has the capacity to sell more to the United States of America.

However, Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry said at a dinner in New York that the main drawback was the quota limitation imposed by the U.S. authorities.

Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Berenado Vunibobo, in an interview last year, said that it was hard for the U.S. to increase Fiji's quota.

He also stated that there were positive signs ahead but that would depend on the type of negotiations held.

The Prime Minister has urged the U.S. government to look at increasing Fiji's quota.

"As a champion of free global trade and the pivotal role of the private sector as the engine of growth in market economies, the United States needs to demonstrate its sincerity in helping small island developing states in achieving, greater self-reliance through increased investment and trade," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also raised Fiji's concern over the lack of genuine commitment by the international community, and especially by both bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and the large developed markets, to positively respond to the Barbados Program commitment that was made five years ago.

He said that his government was hopeful that the UN’s Special Session on Small Island Developing States will readily agree on a common regime of international support to assist them in their efforts to achieve sustainable development.

He said that Fiji welcomes the new emphasis by multi-lateral agencies like the World Bank, the IMF and the Asian Development Bank to assist developing economies in the eradication of poverty, in enhancing human resources development support through better education and health facilities and services, and in the improvement and expansion of infrastructure to support increased investment in the economy by both foreign and local entrepreneurs.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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