Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility (the Facility) to join Vanuatu and Kiribati who signed the MoU in May and June respectively.
While signing the MoU for the Government of Tonga, Honourable Dr Viliami Uasike Latu, Minister for Commerce Tourism and Labour, highlighted the importance of Aid for Trade for Pacific island economies. ?This MoU is expected to assist the Pacific islands in pooling their aid for trade resources and coordinating its utilisation in the implementation of regional aid for trade projects. Tonga supports this initiative and looks forward to the Facility being operationalised,? Hon. Latu said.
?Investing in the development of trade will assist our economies to provide employment and improve the livelihood of our people. The MoU provides the region with a great opportunity for coordinated partnership between all stakeholders in providing Aid for Trade,? the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, for the Government of Tuvalu, Mr Tapugao Falefou said. ?Coordinated efforts in trade facilitation, promotion and capacity building activities will enhance and maximise the benefits from the resources available to the Pacific region, and Tuvalu looks forward to benefiting from such arrangements,? Mr Falefou added.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa and Chair of the 2013 Forum Trade Ministers Meeting, the Hon. Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, thanked the Governments of Tonga and Tuvalu for its commitment to the MoU to establish the Facility.
?The Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility seeks to provide regional trade-related assistance to the Pacific islands and invites development partners to contribute to the facility,? Hon. Fonotoe Lauofo stated. ?I congratulate Tuvalu and Tonga for joining Samoa today in signing the MoU. The Facility is expected to play a vital role in assisting development partners in coordinating their Aid for Trade resources for the Pacific region.? Hon. Fonotoe Lauofo added.
?We look forward to the remaining Pacific ACP States to follow suit in signing the MoU in view of the importance of the Facility in securing Aid for Trade resources.? Hon. Fonotoe Lauofo said.
The MoU is now open for signature by other Pacific Island Countries, Development Partners, and regional and international organisations that wish to benefit from and support the Facility.