14 June 2018, 12:30-13:30
Mr Ratnakar Adhikari
Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the EIF
H.E. Ms Merewalesi Falemaka,
H.E. Mr Eloi Laourou,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be here today. Our partnership with the Pacific has always been very close to our hearts.
- A couple of weeks ago, the WTO Director-General together with the Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat strengthened the cooperation on technical assistance to the members of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat;
- Yesterday, the EIF strengthened the cooperation with The Commonwealth Secretariat, whose members include Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu; and
- Today, we are boosting the cooperation between the EIF and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
All of this is very positive and welcome.
Often, the Pacific seems very far. With these new partnerships, we are cutting the distance to ensure that trade-led development brings tangible benefits to the people in the Pacific, including women and youth.
This morning, Ms Alberta Vitale shared what trade development support means for women farmers across over 180 villages in Samoa, who work really hard to meet the booming global demand for organic coconuts. This is just one example.
Trade-related investments in the Pacific range from refurbishing the seafront of Port Vila (Vanuatu) after Cyclone Pam to building strong institutions in Tuvalu and Kiribati to providing new opportunities to tourism operators in the Solomon Islands.
During a recent visit to the Pacific, the WTO's Director-General made the point very well when he said, "I am certain that our partnership will go from strength to strength to help the Pacific successfully integrate into the global economy."
The EIF is ready to boost its partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Pacific LDCs and Samoa so that people like Ms Alberta Vitale and Ms Rosalie Vatu, as earlier mentioned by Ambassador Laourou, as well as many others in the region, can have better trade opportunities.
I would like to invite Ambassador Merewalesi Falemaka to join me in signing the Memorandum of Understanding.