The establishment of the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility will bring Pacific Islands countries together and help facilitate possible resource sharing.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this as a memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday.
Fiji is the seventh out of ten Pacific ACP (African Caribbean Pacific) states to have signed the agreement.
Three more countries will have to sign up to bring the facility into effect which will fall under the Pacific islands Forum Secretariat.
Other Pacific ACP States which have already signed are Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu.
The objective of the facility is to provide regional trade-related assistance in a timely and efficient manner and enhance the ability of the states to actively participate in the international trading system.
Benefits of the facility
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said not only is the facility efficient, but will bring other benefits as well.
“If there is a co-ordinated and regional approach and in particular aid for trade, then we’d be able to tailor a specific aid in a targeted manner for individual countries,” he said.
“And indeed sometimes we’ll be able to share some of those resources.
“Additionally, it can speed up processes for individual countries.
“At the same time, it does bring the Pacific communities closer and a lot more together in terms of dealing with some of our economic challenges and issues.”
Fiji’s advocating stance
The Permanent Secretary Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, said Government advocated strongly for the establishment of this facility because many valuable factors.
“It sees the value in determining our own needs, engaging with our development partners but on our own terms,” Mr Ali said.
“It sees value in having one collective and strong voice in the Region that calls for the sustainable development and well-being of our citizens.”
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s acting Secretary General, Feleti Teo, said they are confident that the remaining signatories will come forth.
(Source: Fiji Sun)