As Pacific nations, Fiji and Samoa are determined to advance cooperation for sustainable economic growth and development.

This was articulated at an introductory call received by the Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Lesikimacuata Korovavala from the Samoan High Commissioner to Fiji,Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia.

The meeting highlighted that the enduring and multifaceted, Fiji and Samoa relationship is based on trust and respect, genuine friendship and bonded by a shared history and cultural, social and economic relations where Fiji is home to a vibrant Samoan community, just as Samoa is proud to welcome with open hearts Fijians who have made Samoa their home.

Dr Korovavala conveyed Fiji’s best wishes to Samoa for hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) Meeting next year and said that Fiji stands ready to assist Samoa as it prepares for (CHOGM).

On the same note, he reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to work closely with Samoa and our Pacific Island nations in building economic resilience against climate crisis and the pandemic.

He highlighted that the MOU on Development Cooperation and the physical diplomatic presence of Samoa in Fiji, provides expanded trade opportunities.

In February this year, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Prime Minister of Samoa Fiame Naomi Mataafa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the “Development Cooperation” between Fiji and Samoa at the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Nadi.

The MOU provides a strong foundation upon which Development Cooperation assistance between Samoa and Fiji is undertaken in the areas of “Education, Labour mobility, Tourism, Immigration, Fisheries cooperation, Air and Sea transportation, Health, Energy and Infrastructure, Meteorology and Hydrology Services.

More recently, Prime Minister Rabuka was the guest of honour of the Samoan Government at the celebration of its 61st Independence on 01 June 2023.

Ambassador Elisaia said “We are brothers and sisters with a shared people-to-people ties where the Pacific ocean connects us and our nations need to nurture strong relationship at the regional and global levels.”

He said the ongoing collaboration includes Samoa’s Ministry of Police currently cooperating with its Fiji counterparts and Samoa looks for similar exchanges between the two nations.

He also highlighted the investment prospects in trade and tourism, with further consultations to follow.

Fiji and Samoa established diplomatic relations, 49 years ago on 14 November 1974.

Equally significant is the fact that both Samoa and Fiji were founding fathers of the Pacific Islands Forum when it was established 52 years ago in August 1971.