Delivered by the Honourable Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport
Korea-Pacific Islands Countries Seminar
Friday, 24 June 2022
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Honourable Deputy Minister Mr Yeo Seung-bae
Ladies and Gentlemen
Bula vinaka to you all.
At the outset, allow me to convey the good wishes and compliments of the Fijian Prime Minister and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum who is not able to join us here today, due to commitments at an international fora.
I, on behalf of the Hon. Prime Minister take this opportunity to share brief remarks on the occasion of this first public seminar between Korea and Pacific Islands Countries. Indeed, it is a great pleasure to have you with us in Suva on this event, Deputy Minister, Mr Yeo Seung-bae.
The Republic of Korea and the Pacific Islands Forum share a partnership that has continued to evolve over the years, since Korea first became a Forum Dialogue Partner in 1995. As framed through the Korea- Pacific Islands Countries Cooperation Fund, Pacific welcomes your support regionally and bilaterally.
I reaffirm that the Pacific- Korea engagement is founded in genuine and enduring partnerships that support our priorities and aspirations as we mutually grow from strength to strength. Such partnerships are in line with the spirit of our Blue Pacific Principles for Dialogue and Engagement. It recognises and reinforces the Pacific region’s collective prowess, voice and strength.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This reinvigorated approach to our collective engagement is encapsulated in our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. It sets out our long-term approach to working together as a region, as communities, and as people of the Pacific.
The 2050 Strategy will frame how we work together and define the scope of what we will collectively deliver for the interests of our region.
The success of the 2050 Strategy will require the contribution from all stakeholders, including CROP and regional agencies; the private sector; civil society; media; academia; community, cultural and faith-based organisations; and of course our development partners, like Korea.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Republic of Korea has been an important dialogue and development partner for our Blue Pacific region. Indeed, today’s event is testament to the value that your country, Deputy Minister, places on our relations. We are appreciative. We, therefore, welcome opportunities such as this in our collective efforts to further enhance this relationship in the years to come.
At the bilateral level, Fiji has benefited from your support in a number of sectors, including, education, health, fisheries, law enforcement, trade and investments and renewable energy to name a few.
Regionally, we have welcomed your support through the Korea – Pacific Islands Regional Cooperation Fund in areas such as climate change prediction services, combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing and boosting trade, tourism and investment links between our region and Korea.
Deputy Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It would be remiss of me if I did not use this opportunity to reflect on the greatest concern of the era – climate change.
We cannot assert enough the need for urgent collaborative and transformative actions by all nations to address the climate crisis.
Our combined actions, together with the support of our international partners is essential to addressing this threat in the interest of our region’s security and sustainability.
We acknowledge Korea’s development cooperation agreements with Pacific countries and recognise that it differs based on the priorities and interests of Pacific Island Countries. At the same time we must continue to urge and encourage you and all our partners to work with us to determine how to best support the strategic and collective initiatives of our Blue Pacific Continent.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we look to the future, we hope to continue building resilience to enable us to withstand the evolving challenges of our time. In this regard, you can always count on Fiji’s support and commitment in ensuring that climate priorities are at the core of our enduring partnerships going forward.
Thank you once again for the opportunity to address you all on behalf of the Forum Chair.