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Government to fund Pacific Cooperation Foundation

Government to fund Pacific Cooperation Foundation

The newly formed Pacific Cooperation Foundation will receive funding of $675,000 in this year's budget, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

Mr Goff, who is in Suva at the head of a delegation visiting Papua New Guinea and Fiji, said the Foundation was established to foster understanding and cooperation between New Zealand and its Pacific neighbours.

"New Zealand is a Pacific nation. We have a growing inter-dependence with the region through significant trade and people-to-people links, and the growing part that Pacific Islanders play in New Zealand's national identity," Mr Goff said.

"As a country and as a people we are looking to achieve closer engagement with our neighbours, and the Foundation will help strengthen our understanding of the region through media, cultural and public affairs programmes and exchanges.

"It will develop projects that benefit New Zealand and Pacific Island businesses, assist New Zealand companies to be better informed about developments in the region, and help Pacific Island businesses identify and address their own needs.

"The Foundation will promote academic excellence in Pacific issues; facilitate the exchange of views on issues affecting all countries in the region, and highlight the contributions of Pacific Island communities within New Zealand.

"It will establish a network linking the multitude of New Zealand interests in the Pacific, to encourage greater discussion and cooperation, thereby enabling us as a nation to respond more effectively, and with better understanding, to regional issues as they arise," Mr Goff said.

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