PAPUA New Guinea recently signed a deal with the European Union to export goods duty free to the European market.
In return, PNG will remove tariffs on 88% of imports from the EU over the next 15 years.
EU trade commissioner Catherine Ashton said the agreement had delivered results by encouraging new investment into the fisheries industry.
She described the deal as “an important step towards a strong and lasting EU-Pacific trade and development partnership”.
The EU and Papua New Guinea, joined by Fiji, initialled the accord in 2007 and the agreement has been in effect ‘provisionally’ since January last year.
Fiji has not yet signed the deal, but its exports will also enter the European market duty free from now on.
In exchange, the country will cut tariffs on 87% of European imports over 15 years.
Goods from Papua New Guinea and Fiji account for 83% of the EU’s total trade with the Pacific region.
The 27-nation EU exports mainly machinery, vehicles, and oil to the Pacific countries, which in turn export primarily animal and vegetable oils, tuna and tuna products sugar, coffee, tea, spices, and copper to the European market.