The Coalition Government says it is absolutely important for Fiji to look into diversifying supply chains to better prepare for and to mitigate the effects of disruptions in the future.
This was highlighted by the deputy Prime Minister and Minister for External Trade, Manoa Kamikamica.
He said Fiji and the world recently experienced a series of disruptions that have contributed to a broader economic uncertainty.
“By spreading sourcing, production and shipping of goods and services across economically and geographically diverse nations, the risk of a single country shocking the global supply chains due to natural or political factors is significantly lowered.”
The Minister also highlighted the importance of transportation and logistics services.
He said these were the backbone to trade hence, investments in improving transport infrastructure are absolutely critical to ensuring that supply chains are not disrupted.
Kamikamica said international shipping rates are at an all-time high.
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame, Fiji businesses have been reeling with these problems since pre-COVID times. Hence, it is vital to explore innovative approaches to resolving long-standing issues such as these,” he added.
Fiji is looking to explore modern and innovative trade and economic cooperation agreements that address non-tariff barriers and trade logistic issues, which exacerbate the cost of doing business.
He said the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a US-led initiative that Fiji is currently negotiating – a powerful economic bloc that addresses modern barriers to trade such as logistics, connectivity, compatible systems and border facilitation and infrastructure gaps.