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Consider Economic Vulnerability, Says Mark Brown

Cook Islands Minister for Finance Mark Brown said the narrow economic base for several Pacific countries should be considered to allow them access to concessional financing. Mr Brown said on the
07 Apr 2017 09:55
Consider Economic Vulnerability, Says Mark Brown
Former Tuvalu Prime Minister and Economic Minister Maatia Toafa (left), with Cook Island Minister for Finance Mark Brown during 20th Forum Economic Minister’s meeting at Forum Secretariat. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Cook Islands Minister for Finance Mark Brown said the narrow economic base for several Pacific countries should be considered to allow them access to concessional financing.

Mr Brown said on the issue of vulnerability, he “as a minister would like some consideration given the aspect of vulnerability to enable countries to have access to concessional financing for countries to grow in the future”.

Mr Brown was speaking with the Fiji Sun after representing the Cook Islands at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting that opened yesterday at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat conference centre in Suva.

The Forum Economic Ministers Meeting chairperson and Samoan Minister for Finance Epa Tuioti welcomed Finance Ministers from around the Pacific to the meeting.

With the theme ‘Financing for Development Solutions’ Mr Tuioti emphasised the critical importance of collective and coherent regional action.

He said the meeting provided an opportunity to consider the common challenges that the Pacific faces and deliberate on a coherent and practical way forward for the improved and sustainable livelihoods of the people.

Referring to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda 2030, he said the goals were a reflection of the Pacific’s global commitment to improve the economic and social livelihoods of the people.

Mr Tuioti said Samoa had fully integrated the implementation of the SDGs into its national development process to ensure coherence and to mitigate the burden of reporting on government processes.

Australian Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar said the meeting brought together members of the Pacific Islands Forum and observers from a number of developmental partners.

Mr Sukkar said FEMM was the only Pacific region forum of economic and finance ministers, providing an important opportunity for Australia to engage with its counterparts and discuss economic challenges and opportunities in the region.

He said Australia’s participation in this meeting highlights its government’s ongoing commitment to support economic development and prosperity in the Pacific.

He said the forum would focus on Pacific regional development priorities and possible options for countries to finance their economic development goals with a particular focus on natural disaster risks in the region and associated disaster finance, including ways to effectively engage the private sector to access finance.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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