MEETING OF THE TRADE AND INVESTMENT WORKING GROUP OF THE UNITED STATES -

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SUMMARY RECORD

PACIFIC ISLANDS NATIONS
JOINT COMMERCIAL COMMISSION

EAST-WEST CENTER HONOLULU, HAWAI'I

February 22, 1999

INTRODUCTION

WELCOMING REMARKS

ADOPTION OF AGENDA AND INTRODUCTIONS

The PIN Co-Chair officially invited Palau to consider formally joining the JCC.

The draft meeting agenda was adopted without amendment (see Appendix B attached hereto).

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CONFERENCES

In discussions on this agenda item, there was strong support by PINS for the holding of future conferences/workshops similar to that held in May 1998. A number of PIN delegations suggested that the next conference/workshop might be held on the U.S. West Coast. It was also noted that there might be benefits in holding workshops/conferences elsewhere in the mainland U.S. at some time in the future. The PIDP Director was requested to identify the advantages and disadvantages of holding such a conference/workshop on the West Coast as opposed to Hawaii. He was also requested to seek the views of PINS on whether such a conference/workshop should focus on particular themes and/or be organized on the basis of special geographical sub-groupings. It was agreed that priority for funding would be given to those PINS that had not participated in the May 1998 Conference/Workshop, although no PIN would be precluded from participating at its own cost.

INTERNET TOOLS FOR PROMOTING NEW COMMERCIAL VENTURES

It was noted that the Internet could play a most positive role in promoting business development in PINs. The private sector observed that there could be advantages if governments would be willing to have their tenders placed on the PIBN website.

AGRICULTURAL TRADE

Mr. Hinsdale suggested that a special form of refrigerated, sealed containorization could provide an environment able to maintain the integrity of the product and keep it isolated so that these prohibited fruitfly-host products could transit US territory to their final market destinations. Though they took many years and were expensive to develop, acceptable U.S. quarantine treatments were also an option for some products, and would allow for these products to be shipped to U.S. as well as other international markets.

PINs emphasized their desire to see early and effective measures taken to address the problems faced in exporting agricultural produce to the United States or transshipping agricultural produce through the U.S., particularly Hawaii, to foreign markets. The U.S. Co-Chair agreed that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would prepare in a timely fashion a report on the current U.S. position with respect to agricultural quarantine measures and transshipment of agricultural produce. The U.S. would also develop plans for the holding of one or more workshops of technical experts from the U.S. and the PINs to address outstanding issues. The matter would be discussed between the PINs and the U.S. at this year’s Post-Forum Dialogue with a view to significant and positive steps being taken prior to the next meeting of the TIWG. To facilitate the early preparation of the above report, PINs would submit to the U.S., through the PIDP Secretariat, a list of those agricultural products they wished included in the study. To expedite preparation of the study, PINs were also asked to include all available information on local pests and diseases associated with these products. It was agreed that the study would include appropriate references to the shipment of agricultural produce from the PINs to and through Guam.

JCC MANAGEMENT

RESULTS FROM 1998 JCC TIWG MEETING

Noting that the State Department had received numerous urgent queries over the last year or so from persons in the private sector seeking contact details of Pacific Island representatives for trade and investment purposes, the United States Co-Chair requested PINs to supply the names and contact details of persons responsible for JCC matters living in the United States and in their home countries to Mr. Rick Ruebensaal at the State Department. PIN delegations agreed to do so.

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