Since 1989 Fiji adopted an export oriented, outward looking approach with regards to trade relations. Import restrictions were lifted in favor of export promotion, and as such Fiji now has a more open economy with increased volumes of both exports and imports. Formal trading agreements were established and strong relationships have been established with Fiji’s main trading partners namely Australia, New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom and Japan.
Over the past three decades, export growth in Fiji has been largely influenced by the nature of Fiji’s preferential trade arrangements, exchange rate arrangements and the country’s openness. In 1993, Fiji became a signatory of the General Agreement to Tariff and Trade (GATT) and after ratifying the World Trade Organisation (WTO) arrangements in 1996, it became a member of the WTO. Fiji has also pursued bi-lateral and multilateral trade agreements, namely, the South Pacific Regional Trade Agreement (SPARTECA) with Australia and New Zealand in the late 1980s, the Melanesian Spearhead Group with Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in 1998, Pacific Closer Economic Relations (PACER) in 2002 and Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) in 2003.