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Creating More Opportunities for Pac. Islanders

RAROTONGA, 27th October 2009 - The World Bank and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to strengthen cooperation in the Pacific.

The agreement will see the organisations work closely to support their joint vision of development in the Pacific and greater regional cooperation, consistent with the Pacific Plan.

The agreement was signed by Juan Jose Daboub, Managing Director for the World Bank and Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

“We are committed to strengthening our partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat,” said Juan Jose Daboub. “We value the pivotal role the Forum plays in the region and look forward to working closely together on our shared development objectives.”

“This MOU reflects the priority Forum Leaders place on greater coordination between all development actors in the Pacific,” said Mr Slade. “It will deepen and expand upon existing areas of regional cooperation in order to support greater regional integration and bring real benefits to the lives of Pacific peoples.”

Mr Slade added that the agreement will pave the way for further cooperation in areas such as labour mobility, which has already delivered substantial results to Pacific countries.

To date, the Bank’s support to labour mobility has helped facilitate both recognised and pilot labour schemes in New Zealand and Australia. These schemes have greatly enhanced economic opportunities for the countries involved, injecting an estimated $USD38 million into Pacific economies.

In line with the Forum Minister’s priorities, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and World Bank envisage a number of additional areas of potential medium-term cooperation, including regional economic regulation, petroleum supply chain studies and strengthening of regional audit capacities.


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