Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu to set up regional trade facility


Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility to join Vanuatu and Kiribati, which signed the MoU in May and June respectively, this year.<!--more-->

The MoU will help the signatory countries pool their aid for trade resources and coordinate its utilisation in the implementation of regional aid for trade projects, Dr Viliami Uasike Latu, Tonga’s Minister for Commerce Tourism and Labour said while signing the document on behalf of his country.

Tapugao Falefou, Tuvalu’s Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour 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.

“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.”

While congratulating the participating countries, Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa and Chair of the 2013 Forum Trade Ministers Meeting, “The Facility is expected to play a vital role in assisting development partners in coordinating their Aid for Trade resources for the Pacific region. 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.”

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.