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Cook Islands and Fiji finalising new Development Cooperation Agreement

Tuesday 8 August 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Economy, Fiji, National

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Cook Islands and Fiji finalising new Development Cooperation Agreement
Prime Minister Mark Brown received a warm Fijian traditional welcome in Suva, Fiji, on Monday. FIJI GOVERNMENT/ 23080720

Cook Islands and Fiji are in the process of finalising a new Development Cooperation Agreement to advance economic cooperation, air transportation connectivity, trade, tourism, labour mobility and address climate change.

This was highlighted during a bilateral meeting held between the Fijian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sitiveni Rabuka and the Pacific Islands Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, a statement from the Fiji Government said.

The two leaders discussed key areas of cooperation in the build up to the Forum Troika meeting and the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) in Suva later this week.

Rabuka thanked Brown for his timely visit to Fiji particularly to finalise the Development Cooperation Agreement (DCA).

He said DCA will enhance opportunities for increased economic cooperation particularly with the potential to establish air connectivity with the Cook Islands through direct flights and collaboration in trade and tourism.

Rabuka acknowledged Brown’s role as the Chair of the Forum and also reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to regional solidarity assuring full support to the Cook Islands as it prepares to host the upcoming PIFs Meeting in November.

He said Fiji will work closely with Cook Islands and other Pacific Island countries in the implementation of the 2050 Strategy of the Blue Pacific Continent.

Prime Minister Brown welcomed Fiji’s support in the lead up to the PIF Leaders Meeting, which will address priority areas for the Pacific region particularly in the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific.

Brown also received a warm Fijian traditional welcome in Suva, where he highlighted his dedication to advancing the Pacific’s priorities through collaboration with all Forum members and the secretariat.

The event was attended by Rabuka, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Secretary General Henry Puna, diplomatic representatives, Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) members, and PIFS staff.

Reflecting on the occasion, Brown affirmed the vital role of the PIFS in shaping Pacific history. He spoke of the region as a blend of aspirations across generations, aiming to enhance the lives of all Pacific residents.

“I will strive to serve our members to deliver on the priorities as determined by our leaders. Our Pacific vision is for a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity so all Pacific people can live free, healthy, and productive lives,” Brown said.

Anticipating forthcoming discussions at the Forum Economic Ministers meeting and Forum Leaders Troika, Brown emphasised their significance in shaping the Pacific’s trajectory and reinforcing the Pacific Vuvale bonds. The Pacific Vuvale embodies the interconnectedness and unity of Pacific nations.

The PIF Troika Meeting and FEMM is an opportunity to address common issues like rebuilding economic sustainability in region during the post Covid-19 pandemic period and climate crisis.

The Troika leaders will also discuss key instruments such as the ‘Pacific Resilience Fund’, which has been established to finance climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives.