Dear Editor,

It is somewhat good news to hear about MSG moving into free trade within its member block.

However, from the media reports and literatures so far indicated that only Fiji and PNG seem to benefit more from this arrangement because they have goods to trade with.

For its part, SI appears to be a by-stander in all these because she has less or nothing to export to its MSG neighbours.

Free trade does not mean MSG members import goods like you take cassava from Makira into Isabel. Individual countries still have specific requirements on quarrantine, health, etc. And this is the part where SI needs to pull up its socks. We need to ensure we meet the import requiremenst of MSG countries (others too) before we can export our limited tradable goods, if any.

In short, free trade means no or less import excise but other requirements are still in place. It is those other requirements that may hold us back.