MINISTRY OF INFORMATION NEWS SUMMARY 05/05/14 4.00PM

Minister Kubuabola Meets UAE?s First Female Minister – The United Arab Emirates? first female Minister, Her Highness Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the Minister for International Cooperation and Development, met with Fiji?s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola recently in Abu Dhabi.

2. ADB TO CARRY OUT UPSCALING OPERATIONS IN FIJI– The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stands ready to ?Upscale its Operations in Fiji?.

3. 47th ADB Board of Governors Meeting, 2-5th May, Astana, Kazakhstan – Press Release 2: Outcome of 24th Meeting of the Pacific Developing Member Countries Governors with ADB Management. The 24th meeting between the Governors of the 14 Pacific Island Countries with the management of the Asian Development Bank was held on Friday 1st May.

1. Minister Kubuabola Meets UAE?s First Female Minister

The United Arab Emirates? first female Minister, Her Highness Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the Minister for International Cooperation and Development, met with Fiji?s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola recently in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikha Lubna?s Ministry plays a key role in coordinating donor agencies in UAE and delivers resources for humanitarian and development programmes worldwide.

Minister Kubuabola thanked the UAE for providing Fiji with assistance towards its development needs, particularly the USD 5 million grant funding for solar energy projects on the islands of Kadavu, Lakeba and Rotuma.

This was the UAE?s first development assistance to Fiji and Minister Kubuabola has now entered talks with UAE to try and commit them to a longer term program of development assistance for Fiji.

Minister Kubuabola also directed Sheikha Lubna?s attention to regional development issues, to find ways that UAE can help address the needs of all the Pacific Small Island Developing States.

The Ministers talked about the Pacific Island Development Forum at length and how its unique structure allows space for Pacific island countries to dialogue on development needs and presents a collective voice for development partners? consideration.

UAE gave Fiji USD 100,000 last year towards hosting the inaugural PIDF meeting and are likely to continue their assistance for development of the PIDF.

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2. ADB TO CARRY OUT UPSCALING OPERATIONS IN FIJI

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) stands ready to ?Upscale its Operations in Fiji?.

This was the assurance conveyed to the Fijian Delegation by the President and Management of the ADB. As a shareholder of the Bank, the Bank is ready to work in partnership with Fiji in its development effort.

The delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary for Finance Mr Filimone Waqabaca and accompanied by Permanent Secretary Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics Mr Pita Wise and supported by senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of Fiji and Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development & Statistics.

The delegation had the opportunity to meet with the President and also senior officials of the Pacific Operations Department.

At the meeting, the President and Management were updated on the political and socio-economic developments in Fiji. The President commended the impressive progress made to date and assured the delegation of the Bank?s support.

The Bank is currently in the process of finalizing its Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) by end of October.? The CPS will be prepared in consultation with the Fijian government on priority areas that can be considered for funding and supported by Technical Assistance (TA). ?

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3. 47th ADB Board of Governors Meeting, 2-5th May, Astana, Kazakhstan

The 24th meeting between the Governors of the 14 Pacific Island Countries with the management of the Asian Development Bank was held last week with Fiji participating at the meet.

The meeting was chaired by Tuvalu?s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Honourable Maatia Toafa.

This was an opportunity for Pacific member countries to raise issues of common interest directly with the President, Mr. Takehiko Nakao, and senior management of the Bank. In his opening remarks, Minister Toafa emphasized key areas requiring further support and partnership from the Bank including accessing climate change funds, exploring financing modalities for disaster rehabilitation and recovery, private sector development, and identifying and harnessing opportunities for regional integration and cooperation.

President Nakao acknowledged that issues raised are consistent with the findings from the Mid Term Review of the Bank?s 2020 Strategy. He reiterated the Bank?s commitment in supporting the development of Pacific member countries.

The Fijian delegation also had the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with representatives from the Bank of Montreal who made a presentation on the service they provide on reserve management. The delegation will be involved in Constituency Meetings in the weekend.

MINFO