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Foreign investment OK – but with conditions

Saturday June 02, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

In the lead-up to the June 14 election, CINews is asking the main political parties to comment on issues of interest to the public. Today’s question: What are your party’s policies on foreign investment?


Cook Islands Party

Over the past 35 years, a host of foreign entities (both large and small) have set up in our economy in support of developing business in partnerships with our people.

Today, foreign investment continues alongside more and more of our own Cook Islanders developing businesses and possessing the capacity and capital to invest. Our government has monitored this growth in foreign and local investment initiatives.

Already we have initiated a review of foreign investment in the country. The report findings focus on the above point.

In our Policy for Prosperity document, we look to focus efforts in the 2018-2020 period on:

1. Providing business development incentives for resident and returning Cook Islanders.

2. Addressing outstanding land issues in legislation, policy and practise.

3. Promoting working partnerships and development initiatives with our Pa Enua.

4. Economically empowering our youth, women and special population.


One Cook Islands

Because of the unique position in which OCI is placed politically, it is not our intention to reinvent the wheel regarding foreign investment.

However, it is our view that we will look at the policies promoted by the two major parties and will consider this issue on merit, in line with the requirements and needs of our people.

OCI supports the principle of foreign investment providing that a number of conditions have been put in place to protect the integrity of this process, that cultural protocols are adhered to, that investment policies are clearly defined with outcomes stipulated, and that legislation is in place to ensure the principles of fairness, compliance and equity are included involving our own local people.

OCI will also request a review of the current Investment Code to revisit “reserved areas” for locals only and to encourage more investment opportunities from locals living overseas to reinvest in the Cook Islands.

The roles and functions of BTIB will also be included as part of the public-sector reform process which is supported by OCI.


Democratic Party

Any investment in the Cook Islands by foreign entities must align with the values and long-term plans of our country.

Under a Democratic government, there will not be ‘investment at any cost’, get-rich-quick schemes, or the go-ahead for projects that may have potentially negative impacts on the kind of society and culture that we cherish.

Investment will be encouraged but it will also be aligned to our plans, with the input of communities that may be affected by these projects, and will be closely monitored for environmental, cultural and economic impact.

The Democratic Party’s plan for economic development includes consultation with communities, research, and sound planning for sustainable economic growth, and investment partners will be expected to share our values and vision and to demonstrate a long-term commitment to the Cook Islands.

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