NATION

Top EU Official Keen To Meet PM

The European Union’s Commissioner for International Development and Co-operation, Neven Mimica,  is looking forward to meet Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. The meeting is set for Suva on June 16, when
05 Jun 2015 09:09
Top EU Official Keen To Meet PM

The European Union’s Commissioner for International Development and Co-operation, Neven Mimica,  is looking forward to meet Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The meeting is set for Suva on June 16, when Mr Mimica and Mr Bainimarama sign the National Indicative Programme to normalise relations between the UE and Fiji. This will be Mr Mimica’s first visit to Fiji and the Pacific after his appointment a few months ago.

The EU Ambassador to Fiji, Andrew Jacobs, said in Suva yesterday when asked what was the big item in Mr Mimica’s agenda: “He (Mr Mimica) is extremely looking forward to meeting the PM  and signing this National Indicative Programme.”

Mr Mimica’s predecessor came to the Pacific, but did not visit Fiji. Mr Jacobs said Mr Mimica was keen because of restrictions that were placed on Fiji after 2006.

“We didn’t have a co-operation agreement in place under the 10thEuropean Development Fund,” he said.

“But we were still able to provide support through NGOs. We weren’t able to work directly with the Government”

Mr Jacobs said Fiji was the hub of the region and had an influential role to play.

He also said the following:

• First high-level political dialogue between EU team led by the Foreign Affairs Minister of Latvia and the Fijian delegation led by Foreign Affairs minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. It will cover consolidation of return to democracy, sugar, climate change and developments.

• A budget of 29 million Euros ($67.4 million) has been allocated for Fijian developments up to 2020. The bulk of it will go to sugar and agriculture. The EU will provide support to the sugar sector to be competitive in the run-up to 2017 when the market no longer has quotas and preferential prices.

• Mr Mimica will also sign a National Indicative Programme with Papua New Guinea and Solomons. Agreements with other Pacific islands have been signed.

• EU is grateful to Fiji for stepping up to host the 29th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on June 15. Vanuatu pulled out because of the Cyclone Pam destruction.

• 350 people are coming to attend the JPA and other meetings. A great opportunity to discover  Fiji.

• Economically Fiji is looking good.

• Mr Mimica is passionate about the campaign against violence against women and children. He will meet women NGOs.

nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 



Five Square


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