Firstly, it is no secret that in any foreign policy of a nation, bilateral and multilateral "cooperation" is always underpinned by the promise of trade relationships. No one "cooperates" internationally out of the sheer goodness of their hearts. Foreign policy and trade relationships provide sovereign nations with carrot and stick leverage and all over the globe the two functions of cooperation and trade are almost always inextricably tied -- you have to know the credibility of one's relationship (cooperation) with another country before you can trade with them.
So when the illegal and treasonous Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum starts grunting warnings about him controlling who Fiji can and cannot trade with, and slamming trade relationships that have fared us well within the Pacific region wearing his hat as "Attorney General", the situation is glaringly clear.
Aiyaz trusts only his boy (and a fellow muslim to boot) to handle trade under his direct command while the foreign policy folks will be limited to shallow roles such as "meet and greet" of international counterparts.
In other words, fellow regime supporter Rt Inoke Kubuabula's role, just like Solo Mara the former chief of Foreign Affairs, has being weakened and they will be put out to pasture very soon.
And that means that as Khaiyum consolidates greater control of the government machinery, the rest of the regime are powerless and are essentially sitting ducks. Even Bainimarama.
AG warns against signing deals
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
ATTORNEY General and Minister for Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum warned against Fiji ratifying or signing up to trade agreements that did not benefit the country.
Speaking at the opening of the Top Executives Conference held at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Nadi last week, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said past government's were quick to sign up to regional and international trade agreements without carrying out a thorough investigation on the merits of doing so.
"If you go back, even Fiji's hurried agreement to sign up to the World Trade Organisation when many other advanced economies did not because of the provisos in signing up with WTO. Perhaps governments in the past have been prone to looking good in front of the public and the media to please the international community at the expense of being able to control your own destiny to an extent- whether it be tariff control or whether it be incentives to direct businesses in a particular direction," he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this government's commitment to encouraging regional and international trade with the interest of the country put first and foremost had clearly been outlined in recent times.
"From Monday, the international trade arm that exists in Foreign Affairs will move to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to provide the synergy that is critical in terms of whenever we have our own trade officials negotiating trade agreements or discussing trade internationally, they need to be first and foremost, mindful of what will the impact be in Fiji-for business houses, for employment, for our ability to grow our businesses," the AG said.
As part of the move to improve trade relation negotiations, former deputy permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Shaheen Ali, replaces Saipora Mataikabara as the new PS for Industry and Trade. Ms Mataikabara will assume a post at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.