TAIWAN ASSISTANCE FOR

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SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT

Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS STATEMENT

September 22, 1999

TOURISM COUNCIL OF THE PACIFIC

The Tourism Council for the South Pacific (TCSP) today received US$ 90,000 from Taiwan for tourism-related projects, during a brief ceremony at the South Pacific Forum Secretariat headquarters in Fiji.

The Forum Secretariat coordinates assistance from a variety of donors, including Taiwan, towards projects submitted by regional organizations.

The first project for TCSP will cover research into the potential of the Taiwanese tourism market into the Pacific Islands (US$ 70,000) with the balance (US$ 20,000) going towards a Tourism Management Information project.

The Secretary General of the South Pacific Forum Secretariat, Mr. Noel Levi, CBE, thanked the Representative of the Trade Mission of the Republic of China in Fiji, Mr. C. K. Ning, for the continuing support to regional organizations and said the assistance would again be used in the most effective and efficient manner.

The Chief Executive of the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, Mr. Levani Tuinabua, said the assistance was very welcome. "Figures indicate Taiwanese tourism numbers are around six million a year with only 74,000 coming to our region. Given the affluence of the Taiwanese market, there is great potential for expanding Taiwanese tourism numbers into the South Pacific," Mr. Tuinabua said.

These latest projects are part of a US$ 677,000 assistance package pledged by Taiwan in August last year during a Taiwan/ROC-Forum Countries Dialogue held in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.

Others included the Forum Fisheries Agency (US$ 48,000 for computer equipment and vehicle); Forum Secretariat (US$ 131,000 for trade-related projects and a Small Islands States Development Fund); Pacific Islands Development Program (US$ 50,000 for Pacific Islands Report and journalism training); Secretariat for the Pacific Community (US$ 248,850 for training agriculture, women's programs, seafarer's regional database and fisheries); University of the South Pacific (US$ 60,000 for student computing facilities) and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (US$50,000 for national policy frameworks for sustainable development of non-sustainable resources).

A new round of project submissions will be considered early next month when the 7th Taiwan/ROC-Forum Countries Dialogue is held in Koror, Palau.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj

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