A government delegation from Fiji is calling on Australia to drop its challenge of the EU sugar subsidy system, on fears it could devastate the Pacific nation’s sugar industry.

Foreign minister Kaliopate Tavola, prime minister Laisenia Oarase and commerce minister Tom Vuetilovoni will be lobbying the Australian government to abandon its challenge, reported the Fiji Times today [Friday].

Australia is requesting dispute consultations, the first step in the formal World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute process, which would allow Australia to question the EU over its sugar subsidy programme. The Fijian government representatives fear that the challenge, in which Brazil is also taking part, could disrupt the entire sugar regime, under which Fiji currently benefits from preferential prices and quotas to the EU.

To read a story published yesterday about the EU’s warning to Fiji to prepare for the end of its subsidy agreement, click here.