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Pacific Leaders endorse Samoa Agreement ahead of signing

Wednesday 8 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in 52nd Pacific Islands Forum 2023, National


Pacific Leaders endorse Samoa  Agreement ahead of signing
Leaders at the the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) leaders meeting in Rarotonga. Photo: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU.

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders have expressed their unwavering support for the signing of the Samoa Agreement, scheduled to take place in Apia next week.

Speaking after the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) leaders meeting in Rarotonga, Pacific Islands Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister

Mark Brown revealed that the leaders have given a resounding support and endorsed the finalisation, signing and ratification of the agreement.

The Samoa Agreement is a partnership agreement between the European Union (EU) and the organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).

European Ambassador to the Pacific Barbara Plinkert announced that the EU is committing a minimum of €650 million (NZ$1.17 billion) to the region in support of Pacific priorities.

Plinkert emphasised that through the European Union's Global Gateway investment strategy, Europe strongly supports the green transition in the Pacific.

“A Green Blue Alliance, streamlining EU and Member States’ funding, focuses on climate action and the sustainable use of the Pacific's natural capital,” she stated.

She further explained that the implementation of bilateral Global Gateway Investment projects has already begun, and they are ready to support hydropower development in Fiji, construction of a deep-sea, multipurpose port on Christmas Islands, Kiribati, and in Papua New Guinea. Additionally, the European Investment Bank is joining forces with France to rehabilitate the Port of Rabaul, PNG.

“Moving forward, we want to attract more private sector investment in support of the infrastructure needs in the Pacific," she added.

Plinkert highlighted that the upcoming signature of the Africa Caribbean Pacific-EU Partnership Agreement in Samoa marks a significant milestone, and the agreement will include a specific Pacific-EU Protocol.

Regarding trade, she noted that: “In the last five years, EU imports from Pacific ACP Countries have increased from €1.3 to €2.3 billion. The EU proudly guarantees full free access to the EU common market through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).”