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PNG FIA Participated at the 7th Meeting of the Pacific-EU EPA

PNG Fishing Industry Association (FIA) was invited as one of PNG’s non-state actor to participate in the Consultation on the Implementation of interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) during the 7th Meeting of Trade Committee, in Suva on 30th September -4th October 2019, Suva, Fiji

Representatives of PNG FIA included Jonathan Manieva-Executive Officer PNGFIA, Rene Barrion-RD Fishing & Canners and Harry Chen and Ray Clarke from SSTC. They joined Government officials from National Trade office( DCI), PNG Customs and Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Council (CIMC).

PNG FIA representatives together with Trade and Customs officials were engaged at the sessions that focused on doing business with EU and how the civil society and the private sector can fully maximize and optimize on the benefits provided under interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA).

The first session was facilitated by EU officers from the Rules of Origin program who enabled better understanding of the Rules of Origin protocols and procedures which are key to benefitting from the preferential tariff treatment offered by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), between the European Union and Pacific States. During this occasion, unexhausted opportunities within the Rule of Origin protocols for our domestic industries to pursue and capitalize was discussed. Interesting topic for PNG FIA representatives was on Determining the originating status of products. The subjects were:

- Wholly obtained

- Sufficiently worked or processed products, tolerances and product specific rules (Annex II)

- Cumulation

- Territorial requirements

A very good and informative session that would be of greater usefulness and impact if a similar workshop is held in in PNG for the wider exporting industry to participate.

In the second session, a trade seminar was facilitated by EU to explore the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU), Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to Pacific businesses, local exporters and importers. This session discussed views and proposals for promoting trade and sustainable business development through the EPA by inclusive participation of non-state actors (CSO and private sector).

The forum offered avenue for CSOs and private sector stakeholders to suggest to EU officials on EPA trade support programs to offers opportunities for diversification and strengthening of economic ties.

PNG FIA Executive Officer suggested strongly that options of trade assistance programs under the iEPA should look at market facilitation assistance in the fisheries sector especially for our domestic exporting sector into EU. One critical area PNGFIA identified is the market communication platform for our fisheries export products, particularly profiling the PNG FIA’s “responsible sourcing policy’ and National Fisheries Authority’s governance and management regime.

PNGFIA will be liaising with National Trade Office to pursue this opportunity. In the immediate approach, PNGFIA will be seeking guidance through the EU-PNG Business Council dialogue process.

Refer to the following link for TV coverage and report by PNGFIA Executive Officer.

PNGFIA Executive Officer participation was made possible by the funding support of FFA/PEUMP project.


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