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Fiji Sun

Supplement

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

December 31
12:00 2009

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Civil Aviation during the year continued to pursue its policy objectives and deliverables amidst challenges and pressure from its regional neighbours particularly in our pursuit to enhance Global Integration and International Relations for Political and Economic Advancement.
The year 2009 provided many challenges and within these the Ministry finds opportunities through its 12 Missions abroad to explain the intent and overall objectives of the People’s Charter, the Strategic Framework for Change and the political/economic/institutional reforms aimed at creating a genuine and sustainable democracy.
On Fiji’s international trade relations with the rest of the world, the Doha round of negotiations amongst the member governments of the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland looks poised to conclude shortly, after eight years in the making.
The multilateral trading system under the WTO is the body of trading rules and mechanism that Fiji looks up to for the protection and enhancement of its trade-related interest and the effective resolution of its trade disputes. Regional integration with our interests and the effective resolution of its trade disputes. Regional integration with our Pacific Island neighbours is also a priority for Fiji, in our quest to successfully integrate into the global village in a manner that is cognition of the special and unique vulnerabilities of, inter alia, our geographic isolation, smallness in market size, limited infrastructural development and proneness to natural calamities. In this respect, whilst our current forced exclusion from participation in regional trade negotiations such as the PACER Plus and PICTA Trade in Services are of some concern, these regional trade agreements are only as good as the goodwill and credibility of our trading partners in such agreements to engage with us in god faith and respect for each other’s sovereignty.
In defence of our unique and special political and economic situation the Ministry formulated Fiji’s National Universal Periodic Review Report to the UN Human Rights Commission ( which will be submitted in February 2010) and will helped defend the interest of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Copenhagen meeting on Climate Change.
In the aviation industry 2009 is marked by the introduction of Air Pacific flights to Hong Kong after pulling out of the Japan route. The first flight to Honk Kong left our shores on Thursday 3rd December 2009. Another milestone in the aviation industry is the introduction of Continental Micronesia flights from Guam to Fiji and onward to Hawaii in December 2009. It is forecasted that through the introduction of new flights from these international routes more tourists from Asian markets will visit Fiji.
To promote development of tourism and exports, Government will continue to improve airports infrastructures in the country. There is an allocation of $4 million next year’s budget to fund upgrading of Rotuma Airport to meet international standards for designed aircraft ATR72.
The completion of the airport infrastructure development should assist facilitation of trade between Rotuma and Tuvalu.

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