Fiji Kava Council chairman, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo said the removal of the restriction on kava trade in European countries was a result of a 10-day roundtable consultation between Pacific Island ambassadors, European Commission leaders based in Brussels and the German Government Authorities in Berlin.
Kava trade had been restricted in the European countries since 2002.
"We also acquired legal advice from European lawyers Frantino Vergano, under our funding facilities by TradeCom, which confirmed our legitimate rights to seek WTO intervention and involvement. Fiji desperately needs to promote kava as an alternative to the sugar industry in EU and will be the answer to our economic plight," he added.
And it seems that this will have a big impact:
Fiji was earning close to $100 million per annum since 1998 prior to the ban while in 2003 IKEC registered a combined claim of 'loss of revenue' of around $US200 million per annum for the Pacific Island producers.
This is certainly good news for Fiji. The linked article provides a bit of explanation, but this could make for a very good case study, if someone wants to do further research, of how a small, developing country can use trade rules to open markets.