Forum Economic Ministers Meet in Tonga

Economic Ministers of the Pacific Islands Forum will gather for the 17th Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) in Nuku?alofa, Kingdom of Tonga from 3 ? 6 July 2013.

?The Forum Economic Ministers are meeting to consider updates on issues discussed in their previous meetings, and to discuss emerging economic issues and opportunities that the Forum Island Countries face in Leveraging Opportunities for Sustainable Development, the theme for this year?s FEMM,? the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade said.

?The recovering global economy provides impetus to Forum Island Countries? exports of goods and services. With the Pacific being next door to Asia, this is the right time for the Pacific to take advantage of the ?Asian Century?,? Mr Slade said.

?Forum Island Countries? economic policies need to remain relevant and sound, in light of the changing global economic landscape. Moreover, effective implementation of, and instituting prudent macroeconomic policies would enable our economies to withstand adverse shocks. Of particular importance is the need for Forum Island Countries to capitalise on the opportunities from the rise of Asian economies,? Mr. Slade added.

?In progressing commitments of Forum Leaders as envisaged in the Waiheke Declaration for Sustainable Economic Development and the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, issues of economic empowerment of women, economic cost of Non-Communicable Diseases, food security, private sector development, access to finance, and services trade liberalisation are key highlights of the agenda,? Mr. Slade stated.

Updates on the Forum Compact issues, such as peer reviews; public financial management; and aid coordination remain standing agenda items at FEMM.

?Climate change resourcing remains an ongoing issue on the agenda. FICs have been seeking guidance and direction on options to improve access to resources to support climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives.? Mr Slade added.

To progress these issues, Mr Slade underscored the importance of stronger collaboration between FICs, regional agencies and development partners in providing relevant guidance and support.

?The support by the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga is very much appreciated in the hosting of the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Nuku?alofa, Tonga.? Tuiloma Slade added.

The Forum Economic Officials will meet on 3 July to consider the issues on Forum Economic Ministers Meeting agenda, and provide appropriate recommendations for Ministers? consideration.

PRESS RELEASE