PHILIPPINES SEEK ACCESS TO PALAU, PNG FISHING GROUNDS

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Similar agreements sought with Solomon isles, Kiribati

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, January 7, 2009) - The Philippines government is to begin negotiations for fishing access with Palau and Papua New Guinea, after talks with the Indonesian government fell through.

According to the country's fisheries and aquatic resources director, Malcolm I Sarmiento Junior, they are scheduled to enter talks this month.

He says the government is interested in establishing a deal that would allow a certain number of Philippine fishing vessels to operate in Palau and PNG.

In return, the Philippines would encourage canneries and fishery-related businesses to invest there.

Similar agreements with the Solomon Islands, Micronesia and Kiribati are also being considered.

The Philippines government has been looking for new fishing grounds since 2007.

Radio Australia News © 2008 ABC

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