FSM Joins Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility

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Regional ‘Aid for Trade’ coordination body now officially active

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 10, 2014) – Development partners are being asked to channel "Aid for Trade" resources through a new regional trade and development facility that now has ten Pacific Islands as signatories.

The recent signing by the Federated States of Micronesia of the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the Pacific Regional Trade and Development Facility (PRTDF) was the final step to activate the Facility.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat stated that the PRTDF is "an independent and autonomous body that provides the Pacific Island nations a platform to work with development partners to identify trade-related development needs and ensure that available ‘Aid for Trade’ resources are targeted appropriately."

The Facility was formulated in 2008 when it was recognized that trade liberalization alone was not enough to ensure greater benefits to Forum Island Countries from international trade.

The Deputy Scretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Ms Cristelle Pratt, said that the Facility allows for a regional approach that will promote better coordination, more efficient and more effective Aid for Trade programmes in the Pacific "and is expected to play a vital role in assisting development partners in coordinating their Aid for Trade resources for the Pacific region."

Cristelle called on development partners to channel Aid for Trade resources through the Facility, "which will in turn provide trade-related assistance to Pacific Island States in a timely and efficient manner."

The ten Pacific Islands countries that have signed the MOU for the establishment of the Facility are: Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Federated States of Micronesia.

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