Fiji trade officials visit Lae factories


TRADE officials from Fiji accompanied their PNG counterparts last week to visit the Lae factories of Trukai Industries Limited and Paradise Foods Limited to view their products.
Both companies want to export their products to Fiji, which became the cause of a row between the two Melanesian countries over biosecurity issues. The visit was to conduct import risk assessments on the products.
The two countries are members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group which had signed an agreement to allow free trade between the member countries.
Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru had said for 10 years, Fiji has refused to allow in PNG products such as Trukai rise, Ox and Palm corned beef and biscuits.
“Manufacturers of PNG-made products including Trukai rice and Ox and Palm can export their products to Fiji once all issues regarding biosecurity are addressed,” Maru said.
The Fiji team comprised Fiji Trade Commissioner to PNG Navitalai Tuivuniwai, Fiji High Commission first secretary Vilitati Mataitini, Nilesh Chand and Ronald Prasad from the Fiji Biosecurity Authority.
The Papua New Guinea team included Dr Amanda Mararuai, the senior technical officer with the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority, Benjamin Zairo, the technical officer with National Institute of Standard and Industrial Technology, Raphael Uranguwai, the director of trade development and promotion with the Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Lae-based NAQIA officials.
“The purpose of this visit is to have the team from Fiji biosecurity who have been tasked by their government to come and look at the processing of the three commodity products (corned beef, rice and biscuit) and collect the necessary documentation and provide the report so that their government can give the clearance to import,” Uranguwai said.
Uranguwai said the team had also visited Ox and Palm manufacturer Hugo Canning at 16-Mile outside Port Moresby.
Maru thanked the Fiji government for including the Lae leg on the trip which would provide important information to the Fiji government.

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