FORUM ECONOMIC MINISTERS TO MEET IN HONIARA

News Release

Pacific Islands Forum

SUVA, Fiji (June 25) - Economic Ministers from the Pacific Islands Forum meet next week in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara, to discuss regional economic integration and ways to improve Pacific labour markets.

"The Economic Ministers have previously agreed to make it easier to open and run a business in island countries, by updating regulations and making them less time consuming," said Acting Forum Secretary General, Iosefa Maiava. "This recognises the crucial role that the private sector plays as an engine of economic growth. There is also room to attract investment from the growing overseas communities of Pacific Islanders who have strong links back to their home islands."

As regional economic integration is now a standing item on the FEMM agenda, the Ministers will also discuss economic regulation and labour as they are vital to economic growth.

The Economic Ministerial in Honiara on 3-5 July will be the tenth anniversary of the FEMM and a special session will be held on what the region has achieved so far, and what factors will affect future economic growth. A number of challenges and opportunities, particularly through regionalism can assist with lifting economic growth going forward, Mr Maiava said.

Ministers will later endorse a 2006 Forum Economic Action Plan to guide their work over the next year.

June 28, 2006

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