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The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Wednesday signed financing agreements for the Pacific Regional Integration Support Programme (EUR 37 million, approximately FJD$88.9 million) and the Investment Facility for the Pacific (EUR 57 million, approximately FJD$137 million).
The agreements were signed by the Secretary-General of PIFS, Dame Meg Taylor and the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Christoph Wagner, in the margins of the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting held in PIFS Head Quarters, Suva.
Dame Meg Taylor, said: 'Today's signature marks an important milestone in the longstanding partnership between the Pacific and the European Union. As of today, all 11th EDF Pacific regional programmes have been approved and 100% of the funds (in total EUR 197 million) have been committed. On this occasion, I would like to thank our colleagues and partners at regional and national level for their contribution to this important achievement. While preparing the operational launch of these 11th EDF Programmes in the Pacific, we are also making good progress in the negotiations on the Post-Cotonou Agreement, which will shape the future Pacific-EU partnership.'
Wagner added: 'The private sector is a key partner for sustainable development and essential for attaining the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Pacific Regional Integration Support Programme (PRISE) seeks to strengthen the regional trade- and business enabling environment in line with the regional economic integration goals set out in the ‘Blue Pacific’ identity. It will also assist Pacific businesses seize new opportunities arising under the EU-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement. The Investment Facility for the Pacific, on the other hand, will provide grant funding to leverage critical investments in the Pacific in partnership with International Financial Institutions. All this will be done in a climate-smart way, aiming at sustainable growth of the blue and circular economies in the Pacific.'
Pacific Regional Integration Support Programme (PRISE):
Over the next 5 years, the PRISE programme will provide support to 15 Pacific Island Countries. The main implementing partners include: the Pacific Community (SPC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Support will focus on: trade facilitation (customs & biosecurity), regional aid-for-trade coordination as well as on strengthening strategic value-chains and improving the business enabling environment.
Beneficiary countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu....
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