Seventh Taiwan/Republic Of China-Forum Countries Dialogue

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JOINT STATEMENT

Koror, Republic of Palau

October 9, 1999

The Seventh Taiwan/Republic of China-Forum Countries Dialogue was held in Koror, Republic of Palau on Saturday 9 October 1999. The Taiwan/Republic of China delegation was led by HE Wu Tzu-Dan, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Forum Island Countries represented at the Dialogue were Nauru, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Representatives of Fiji, Palau and Papua New Guinea were in attendance. Representatives of the Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), and the University of the South Pacific (USP) were also in attendance as observers. Solomon Islands was the Moderator for the meeting.

The meeting thanked the Government and people of the Republic of Palau for their warm welcome, generous hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for its meeting.

The meeting noted with sadness the recent devastation caused by earthquakes in Taiwan/Republic of China and expressed its condolence to the Government and People of Taiwan/Republic of China.

The meeting noted with satisfaction the long-standing and close cooperative friendship between the Forum countries and Taiwan/Republic of China and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen their relations.

The Vice Minister welcomed the change in the name of the South Pacific Forum to "Pacific Islands Forum." He observed that the change of the name could facilitate the acceptance of Taiwan/Republic of China as a member of the Forum family.

The Vice Minister said that Taiwan/Republic of China has strived to promote a better understanding of the development needs of this region through the Dialogue with the Forum Island Countries. He was pleased to note the presence of representatives of Forum Island Countries at the Seventh Taiwan/Republic of China-Forum Countries Dialogue which reflected the very positive response to Taiwan/Republic of China’s active engagement in Asia-Pacific Regional Affairs.

The Forum countries welcomed the continued interest of Taiwan/Republic of China and its active involvement in the development of the region. They warmly thanked Taiwan/Republic of China for its contributions and its pledge to assist a number of priority development projects of Forum countries and regional organisations. In particular, Forum countries appreciated Taiwan/Republic of China’s support for the technical assistance programme administered by the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) and expressed their enthusiasm for the expansion of such assistance to the region.

The meeting agreed that Forum countries would benefit from the expertise of Taiwan/Republic of China in developing their private sector. The Dialogue further agreed that Taiwan/Republic of China would assist this objective with emphasis on the development of small and medium enterprises, the transfer of technology, and capacity building.

The meeting noted that a Free Trade Area in Forum Island Countries has been endorsed by the Forum Leaders. The meeting also noted the Forum Economic Ministers Action Plan to promote economic reforms, trade and investment liberalization. The Vice Minister expressed his country’s willingness to assist in trade and investment issues including the facilitation of participation at the WTO, APEC and the strengthening of the Multilateral Trading System.

The meeting agreed that there has been excellent progress in the MHLC process towards the finalisation of the convention for the sustainable management of the region’s highly migratory fish stocks. The meeting also noted the Forum’s decision on the implementation of the VMS and agreed to give full support to this decision.

The meeting noted that assistance provided by Taiwan/Republic of China has greatly contributed to the economic and social development of the region. The Vice Minister from Taiwan/Republic of China announced at the meeting his Government’s assistance for 27 projects submitted by the regional organisations for the year 2000 amounting to US$ 1,028,454, a 40% increase over last year’s assistance. The list of projects is attached. The Vice Minister also announced a new Taiwan/Republic of China initiative to set up a Scholarship Scheme for Forum Island Countries worth US$ 500,000 annually beginning in the year 2000. In announcing the new initiative, the Vice Minister expressed his Government’s desire to enter the new millennium with a renewed spirit of cooperation. Taiwan/Republic of China’s regional assistance programme is worth over US$ 1.5 million for the year 2000, which is in addition to its substantial bilateral assistance programme. This would bring the total Taiwan/Republic of China regional assistance to US$ 5.5 million since the first Taiwan/Republic of China-Forum Countries Dialogue in 1993.

The meeting noted with gratitude the increase in the level of assistance offered by Taiwan/Republic of China to the region particularly in view of the difficult times faced in the aftermath of the recent earthquakes.

The meeting noted the concern of the four Forum Countries, which recognize Taiwan/Republic of China, regarding the use of Taiwan/Republic of China’s regional assistance programme. Taiwan/Republic of China will respond to the four countries in writing.

Forum Island Countries reaffirmed their support of Taiwan/Republic of China for its wider participation in international institutions and agreed to continue their efforts in further strengthening the Forum Dialogue process with Taiwan/Republic of China. In this regard the meeting agreed to recommend to the Forum to acknowledge in the next year’s Forum Communiqué, Taiwan/Republic of China’s increased contribution to the region, and in particular, the establishment of the Scholarship Scheme for Forum Island Countries.

The meeting expressed its appreciation to Hon. Minister Fred Fono of Solomon Islands for his successful leadership of the Dialogue talks as the meeting’s Moderator. The Moderator also thanked members of the Panel for their frank and cordial discussions.

 

PROJECTS APPROVED FOR FUNDING BY TAIWAN/REPUBLIC OF CHINA YEAR 2000 (US$)

 

FORUM FISHERIES AGENCY 

1. Market Information Study $31,560

2. Printer Acquisition $4,400

3. Feasibility Study – Staff Housing Complex $5,500

4. Capital Equipment Replacement $58,300

 

FORUM SECRETARIAT

1. Sub-Regional Workshop on Food Processing $38,000

2. Forum Island Countries Investment Promotion $52,000 Mission to Taiwan/Republic of China

3. Smaller Island States Development Fund $90,000

4. Information Technology Equipment $20,000

 

1. Regional Workshop on Sustainable Globalization     $50,000 in the Pacific Islands

 

SOUTH PACIFIC APPLIED GEOSCIENCE COMMISSIONS

1. Strengthening National Policy Framework to Support $25,000

Sustainable Development of non-living resources in PICs

2. Ocean Research Co-ordination Project for Pacific Small $100,000 Island Developing States

 

SECRETARIAT FOR THE PACIFIC COMMUNITY

1. South Pacific Albacore Stock Assessment $50,000

2. Simulation Analysis of MULTIFAN-CL $20,000

3. Regional Course on Vessel Operation Management $40,000 and Electronic Aids

4. Site Survey Training for Seaweed Farming $35,000

5. 8th Festival of Pacific Arts $58,040

6. Training Course on Intellectual Property Legislation $27,854

for Lawyers – Phase Three

7. Non-Communicable Diseases Small Grant Scheme $50,000

8. Pacific Nutrition Training Grants Scheme $20,000

9. Public Health Surveillance Training Workshop $44,800

10. Small Grants for Study Tours & Technical Cooperation $48,000

 

UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC

1. USP Net Video Equipment Project $60,000

 

TOURISM COUNCIL OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC

1. Calendar of Events Brochure $10,000

2. Promotional Video $30,000

3. Events Workshops $10,000

4. Research on Potential of the Taiwanese Tourism $20,000

Market for Pacific Islands

5. Tourism Management Information $30,000

 

TOTAL FUNDING FOR YEAR 2000:  US$ 1,028,454

 

9 October 1999 Koror, Republic of Palau

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