Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor used her opening address at the Forum Economic and Trade Ministers Meeting at the National Auditorium yesterday to highlight challenges facing the region and at the top of her list was the impact of climate change.
Taylor also touched on the need for trade and economic ministers of the region to focus on improving the economic returns of fisheries, the impact of climate change, the growth of information technologies and human rights issues in West Papua.
“As a region we need to perform better.”
Prime Minister Henry Puna welcomed delegates to the Cook Islands and highlighted the importance of regionalism and the ways he believes this country has benefited from its close relationship with other Pacific Island States.
Pacific Islands Forum Economic and Trade Ministers and officials, including regional Private Sector representatives have gathered in Rarotonga for the meeting which also includes a joint Meeting of Economic and Trade Ministers with the private sector.
This series of meetings will focus on increased engagement of the private sector in Pacific island economies and will discuss ways to address the concerns of the private sector through regional approaches.
Forum Economic and Trade Ministers met yesterday to discuss the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, including their role in the implementation of the regional priorities agreed to by the Pacific Islands Forum leaders at their annual meeting in September.
Today, economic ministers will meet to discuss the theme of “Building Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a Catalyst for Economic Growth” in the Pacific Islands.
Meanwhile trade ministers will meet to discuss “Supporting Private Sector for Increased Trade, Investment and Development.”
A Joint Economic and Trade Ministers Meeting (JETMM) with the private sector will be held tomorrow. It will focus on “Addressing Economic Development in the Pacific Islands through the Private Sector” and will discuss joint policy options to support private sector-led growth in the region.
It will also look at island countries’ roles in implementing the 2015 Forum Leaders priorities.