Study on Selected Export MSG Products

  

Study Report on MSG Export Products

The Terms of Reference is an initiative by MSG Secretariat to conduct a Study on MSG export products so as to increase exports of Pacific Island Products and increase investment in the region. The Study covers Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) Party of New Caledonia in her observer status under the Trade Agreement.

The Study focuses on a few products that are deemed to be of comparative and competitive advantage for each member country, with the aim of developing capacity for the existing potential MSG exporters to effectively enhance export competitiveness and facilitate subregional trade. The Report looks forward from previous Studies in related areas, and assumes a familiarity with the material contained in them.

Although there are a number of regional trade agreements operating in the Pacific, stakeholders that were interviewed regarded the MSGTA2 as the principal trade agreement in the region.

Stakeholders from government, non-government organisations and the relevant export industries were consulted in the preparation of the Report.

Fiji

Government officials advised that the current priority is to work towards finalising and implementing a fully-fledged, comprehensive MSGTA3. NGOs raised concerns about shipping costs as well as frequency of regular services and the transparency of the Customs regime in the MSG region. There was also a desire for more private sector consultation in trade negotiations...

New Caledonia

Government officials noted a number of factors that mitigate against increased exports to MSG countries. These include problems in product promotion, language barriers, high freight costs and competition from other off-shore suppliers. Discussions with NGOs concentrated more on inward trade rather than available export opportunities...

Papua New Guinea (PNG)

The Government’s objectives in the trade sector are to rebalance exports away from the extractive sector and encourage investment and employment in the non- extractive sector. The Manufacturers Council noted that the ability to increase exports is mitigated by severe competition in PNG from low cost imports, high internal transport costs and port charges, and lack of treatment facilities for SPS matters...

Solomon Islands

Government officials advise that the development of export trade from the Solomon Islands continues to be restricted by the cost of electricity and water, the land issues that are detrimental to development production and export, and that although crops are grown organically, they are not certified as such and there is therefore no beneficial effect on price or volume. An urgent need for a multi-purpose laboratory and a heat treatment facility was identified...

Vanuatu

Government officials identified a number of issues facing Vanuatu’s exports including production capacity, reliability and sustainability of product, failure to adapt to changing consumer preferences in target export markets, and a high domestic cost structure and low productivity...

 

This Study was commissioned by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat through funding under the Pacific Integration Trade Assistance Project (PITAP) which is funded by EU under the 10th EDF (C&QSM).

 

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