Forum Leaders, at their 1996 meeting, determined that regular meetings of Forum Economic Ministers would support national economic development strategies through improving regional and sub-regional cooperation.
FEMM has since met 15 times: Cairns, Australia (1997); Nadi, Fiji (1998); Apia, Samoa (1999); Alofi, Niue (2000); Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2001); Port Vila, Vanuatu (2002); Majuro, RMI (2003); Rotorua, New Zealand (2004); Funafuti, Tuvalu (2005); Honiara, Solomon Islands (2006); Koror, Palau (2007); Port Vila, Vanuatu (2008); Rarotonga, Cook Islands (2009); Alofi, Niue (2010) and Apia, Samoa (2011) .
FEMM, as key adviser to the Forum Leaders on broader issues of economic management and development, had identified sectoral opportunities for a region-wide approach to development or common constraints on development. Consequently it has also generated other ad hoc Forum ministerial meetings, such as those for trade, aviation and communications.
Overall there are a number of issues which are considered strategic in nature and are typically on the FEMM agenda:
economic management and structural adjustment issues; and,
ongoing sharing of experiences in economic reform to support coordination of and best practice in the initiation and management of reform processes.
In addition, FEMM has initiated a stocktake process that identifies the extent to which decisions have been implemented and if implementation is lagging, the reasons behind this. This feedback mechanism allows identification of the areas where greater concentration of effort on the part of Forum members and development partners is required.
The FEMM process illustrates a number of ways in which countries can gain from regional processes:
a common regional stance on international issues;
a collaborative approach to dealing with common constraints, including sharing of capacities; and,
sharing of experiences, focusing on lessons learnt (economic reform processes).
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