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Destitute island nation searching for development

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 2, 2008) – Nauru’s Foreign and Finance Minister, Dr Kieren Keke, says Australia might help the island become a centre for fishing vessel maintenance and servicing.

He says this is one of the ideas discussed in talks he had this week in Canberra with the Australia Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, following the closure of the detention centre on the island.

Dr Keke says Mr Smith showed a willingness to share views of a range of issues aimed at minimising the economic impact of the centre shutting down.

He says Nauru is not looking for aid handouts but help to get the island back onto its feet through practical assistance.

Dr Keke says the talked about the revitalised phosphate industry and other sectors they are trying to develop.

"Such as fisheries or more specifically setting up Nauru as a site that can service fishing vessels in the region. As well as some other ideas we have got in the private sector - small business development and attracting foreign manufacturing into Nauru."

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