CHINA FUNDS PROVIDED FOR

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PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS STATEMENT April 27, 2001

PACIFIC ISLANDS TRADE OFFICE IN BEIJING

China's Ambassador to Fiji, HE Zhang Junsai, has handed over US$ 20,000 to the Suva-based Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, to help with preparations for a Pacific Islands Trade Office in Beijing.

"We wish to thank the Government of the People's Republic of China for making it possible for the region to have a trade office in Beijing," said the Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr. Iosefa Maiava.

"We look forward to enhancing our trade and investment relations with China," Mr. Maiava said.

The funds are part of a US$ 3 million China - South Pacific Cooperation Fund, pledged last year, which is to be disbursed over five years. One million dollars from the Fund will be used to establish and operate the trade office.

The US$ 20,000 received today will be used to meet the cost of advertising and recruitment of trade representatives as well as consultations with officials from the People's Republic of China.

A Forum Secretariat team is meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing this week to discuss the logistics and administrative arrangements for the office. The appointment of a Trade Representative for the Beijing office will be finalized by early June, with the office expected to be operational in July.

The Forum Secretariat also runs trade offices in Auckland, Sydney and Tokyo to help promote trade and investment in the region.

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

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