RELEASE: Economic Recovery, Stability in focus as Vanuatu prepares for FEMM

Vanuatu Minister for Finance, Johnny Koanapo met with PIF Deputy Secretary General, Dr Filimon Manoni last month ahead of FEMM. 

August 5, 2022, PIF SUVA— Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers will be discussing economic impacts and recovery from COVID disruption as well as the new 2050 Strategy when they convene in-person for the first time in three years from 11-12 August, in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Impacts of the climate crisis, and supply chain disruptions are also likely to be key themes decided by senior economic officials when they meet on August 10 to lock in the two-day agenda for the Economic Ministers.

The 2022 theme, “Towards a Resilient Economic Recovery and Stability” is poised to take up where the Forum Leaders Meeting in Suva left off, continuing momentum on the recent launch of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. The Strategy is front of mind for Forum Member countries and partners as they discuss broad economic implications and linkages at the national and regional level.

“I look forward to welcoming the regional Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM), and its networking and resourcing power back to Port Vila since 2008. Vanuatu, like all our Pacific nations, has ample experience of the pandemic, of disasters, of the ongoing challenges to development which make our ocean states the most vulnerable – including the most economically vulnerable – in the world,” said incoming FEMM Chair, Hon Johnny Koanapo Rasou, Minister of Finance and Economic Management of Vanuatu, as he takes up the Chairing role of FEMM.

Current FEMM Chair, Tuvalu Minister of Finance Hon Seve Paeniu said “the last 12 months continued to show us that resilience, innovation, and strength are some of the best qualities we can draw from each other as the Forum. I look forward to sharing our priorities and lessons for economic resilience and hearing from colleague leaders at the FEMM 2022.”

Also featuring on the agenda, a concept note to develop a Blue Pacific Economic Strategy to capture the economic aspects of the 2050 Strategy, framed in the context of the impact of COVID 19 on the Pacific’s economic pathway in the short to medium term. An update on the Regional Sustainable Development Goals 2030 is also on the agenda for discussion by Economic Ministers.

Pacific Islands Forum SG Henry Puna noted the ongoing priorities for climate finance and disaster risk financing in the upcoming FEMM discussions.

“Not all Forum Economic Ministers are in a position to travel due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, but those that will be in Vanuatu will appreciate the real benefits from face-to-face talanoa on the regional climate emergency, and the pressing global issues at this point in time,” said SG Puna, “We look forward to supporting the FEMM mandate for economic recovery and stability for our region.”

While the meeting will be in hybrid mode, the FEMM standard of hearing from the region’s private sector and civil society representatives will be held. Likely new features may include a side event on the Pacific Climate Insurance Risk Facility, PICRIC, and consideration for the Green Climate Fund to become an Observer to the FEMM.

FEMM will end with a Dialogue Partners Roundtable with Economic Ministers, enabling Ministers to highlight the regions priority areas to Development Partners and ensure Partners programmes and activities are aligned. – ENDS

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