The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (NZMPI) held a successful bilateral engagement today to discuss biosecurity matters of mutual interest.

The two national counterparts convened for the third year running in Nadi with notable presence from the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture who are key partners to trade of agricultural commodities from Fiji.

BAF Acting Chief Executive Officer,  Surend Pratap said the bilateral discussion is an effective platform for talanoa and exchange of information on critical issues surrounding agricultural trade and it is imperative to work in partnership with New Zealand.

Mr. Pratap added that such bilateral meetings help solidify measures and strengthen trade pathways between the two countries. He added that BAF continuously endeavours to partake in activities which are in the best interest of Fiji, its farming communities, exporters and other stakeholders.

The meeting also provides an opportunity to learn from trading partners and make amendments for compliances.

NZMPI’s Deputy Chief Technical Officer, Dr. Stephen Butcher, in his remarks said that New Zealand remains committed to trade from Fiji and the wider Pacific region.

Dr. Butcher added that the New Zealand government’s Pacific Reset program and MPI’s system improvements will better cater for market access from the region and the bilateral talks are a recognition that NZMPI and BAF together with MOA will endeavour to work together for the mutual benefit of both countries.

A lot of positive changes have been effected as a result of past bilateral meetings and heading forward the two nations will continue to engage in such discussions to achieve much more collaboratively, said Dr. Butcher.

The meeting concluded with the formulation of action items under market access, fresh produce export pathway audits and technical cooperation issues.

The bilateral meeting is an annual event providing BAF and NZMPI a platform to bring to the forefront and discuss technical issues relating to trade of plant and plant products between the two countries.

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