Vanuatu Prime Minister Leads Delegation To Brussels To Meet EU

Salwai to discuss National Indicative Program and budgetary support from Europe

By Len Garae

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 24, 2017) – The thirteen-strong delegation of the Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, was warmly welcomed to Brussels by the Vanuatu Ambassador to the EU, Roy Mickey Joy and his Team.

Second Secretary to the Vanuatu Embassy in Brussels, Shirley Joy says the visit coincides with Vanuatu’s long term commitment to the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement, and to discuss further the modalities relating to the National Indicative Program (NIP) and the Budget support that has been made available to Vanuatu as a member of the ACP Group of States, to support the development efforts in Vanuatu.

She confirms the Prime minister and his delegation will be meeting with EU Commissioner for Development Cooperation Niven Mimica, to reinforce Vanuatu’s commitment in the NIP as well as to consider new mechanisms for accelerating EU resources for the productive sector of Vanuatu.

“PM Salwai is adamant to request his EU counterpart to rationalize mechanisms for advancing both the NIP and the budget support envelopes made available by the EU to support key sectors of the economy in particular the rural sector and infrastructure which requires intensive capital investment”, the Second Secretary says.

She says a stronger focus on gender equality, rural development and governance are among important topics to be discussed during the Political Dialogue.

She confirms, “In 2016 alone the Government of Vanuatu had to forgo over Vt600m from the 10th EDF funding due to lack of commitment and availability of projects from government.

“A stronger sense of ownership from Vanuatu and the process has to be streamlined and Vanuatu as a beneficiary must be given political space to support key priorities as envisaged by the EU”.

PM Salwai is the first standing PM of Vanuatu to visit Brussels, the Capital of the European Union. It is expected that during his visit, bilateral discussions with various leaders in both Belgium and in the Netherlands will pave the way for closer political and economic cooperation between Vanuatu and the EU member states.

The Prime Minister is expected to meet the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer, with a view to agreeing on a number of projects approved by Vanuatu as part of the Government’s new indicative programmes particularly on infrastructure as well as other capital investment as prioritised by the Government of Vanuatu.

During the course of this visit, the Prime minister and his delegation are also expected to visit Paris, where he is expected to meet his French counterpart as well as the Director General of UNESCO, of which Vanuatu is a member.

The Prime minister’s delegation is made up of Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Lengkoine, two Members of Parliament; ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly representative MP Rick Mahe, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, MP Francois Chani, two Acting Director Generals, Sumbue Antas and Benjamin Shing and other Senior Officials.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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