South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement

South Pacific Regional Trade And Economic Co-Operation Agreement

South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement

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Description:
The South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA) is a nonreciprocal trade agreement in which Australia and New Zealand offer duty-free and unrestricted access for specified products originating from the developing island member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum. Signed in 1981 and subject to Rules of Origin regulations, the agreement was designed to address the unequal trade relationships between the two groups. The textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) industry has been a major beneficiary of SPARTECA through the preferential access to Australian and New Zealand markets.

TCF in Fiji

The local Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) industry has grown over the last 10 years and is now one of the major industries in Fiji. In 1997 the TCF industry accounted for 26% of Fiji’s total domestic exports; it contributed to some 3.5% of GDP and provided employment for about 18,000 people that account for 16% of those in total paid employment. The rapid expansion of the Fiji TCF industry has been attributed to the removal of TCF quota by the Australian Government in 1987 which allowed quota free and duty free access under SPARTECA, the introduction of the Tax Free Factory/Zone (TFF/TFZ) Scheme in 1988 and the Australian Import Credit Scheme (ICS).

Australian ICS

The ICS commenced in July 1991 as part of a larger package of tariff and other industrial reforms in Australia. It was introduced as a temporary measure to...
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