Regional Trade

A Regional Trade Agreement is an agreement between group of countries within a region that gradually become a trading block through progressive removal of barrier and alignment of trade policies. With regards to Fiji, there are three such agreements which are:

  • The Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA);
  • to promote and Strengthen inter membership trade, exchange of Melanesian Cultures, traditions, values and sovereign equality;
  • to foster economic and technical cooperation between the members; and
  • to align member country's policies and further member's shared goals of economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security.
  • Recognizing the economic and political potential of this sub-regional Group and its importance, Fiji became an observer to the Group in 1993. Fiji was invited to be a full member of the MSG in 1996 in PNG, at the MSG Leaders’ Summit. The MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA) came into effect in 1993 with the original three members and established a reciprocal free trade agreement (trade in goods). To solidify its status in the Group, Fiji joined the MSG Trade Agreement in 1998. The MSGTA has played a pioneering role in the regional integration in the Pacific. In 2004, the MSG members agreed to deepen and revise this free trade agreement by adopting a negative-list approach instead of the previous mode of trading on a positive list. The revised MSGTA was signed by the four parties in 2005, in PNG. To date there are four members of the MSG, namely Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) was conceived in 1986 between the three Melanesian Pacific Island Countries namely Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The reason for the conception of the MSG Agreement was due to the following:

  • to promote and Strengthen inter membership trade, exchange of Melanesian Cultures, traditions, values and sovereign equality;
  • to foster economic and technical cooperation between the members; and
  • to align member country's policies and further member's shared goals of economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security.
  • Recognizing the economic and political potential of this sub-regional Group and its importance, Fiji became an observer to the Group in 1993. Fiji was invited to be a full member of the MSG in 1996 in PNG, at the MSG Leaders’ Summit. The MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA) came into effect in 1993 with the original three members and established a reciprocal free trade agreement (trade in goods). To solidify its status in the Group, Fiji joined the MSG Trade Agreement in 1998. The MSGTA has played a pioneering role in the regional integration in the Pacific. In 2004, the MSG members agreed to deepen and revise this free trade agreement by adopting a negative-list approach instead of the previous mode of trading on a positive list. The revised MSGTA was signed by the four parties in 2005, in PNG. To date there are four members of the MSG, namely Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.