27 October 2022, ForumSec, Suva – A major Pacific Islands Forum-EU trade initiative is now complete with the signing of a host-country agreement with the Federated States of Micronesia, FSM.
Under today’s signing, FSM will host the EU-funded Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade Project, SPIRIT, Micronesia sub-regional Trade Adviser Mr Philip Mercado. He now joins Vanuatu-based Melanesia Trade Adviser Ms Jillateno Juma and Tonga-based Polynesia Trade Adviser Mr Stephen Musubire. Both had deployed to their Forum postings with MSG Secretariat in Port Vila, and the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, in May 2022.
“Today, we will come full circle in completing this process with the important sub-region of Micronesia after the signature of the Host Agreement today with the Federated States of Micronesia’s Department of Resources and Development”, said Dr. Manoni, Acting Secretary General.
Dr. Manoni emphasized the importance of mainstreaming trade in national development strategies and moving to effective implementation to bring greater prosperity for the region.
“Our people need international trade to access goods and services for human consumption. Trade is, therefore, essential for our survival.”
“We need trade to import medicines we cannot produce to treat our sick and care for our elderly. Our large and small businesses need cheaper inputs that are not available locally to make a decent profit and keep our people employed with incomes to sustain their livelihoods. In essence, we cannot achieve sustainable development without trade”, he added.
As the Forum’s SPIRIT Trade Adviser for Micronesia, Mr. Mercado will relocate to Pohnpei in early November. Hailing from Papua New Guinea, his technical background lies in international trade, customs and fisheries. His mission will cover FSM, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau.
The Honourable, Ms. Elina Akinaga officiated in the signing ceremony on behalf of the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia.
The EU Delegation Office for the Pacific was represented by Deputy Ambassador, Dr. Erja Askola. The SPIRIT project comes under the EU PRISE program for the Pacific region, valued at EUR 26.25 million or FJD 60.50 million. —ENDS
Pacific Islands Forum (SPIRIT) Communications and Monitoring & Evaluations Officer
Joeli Bili, firstname.lastname@example.org, (679) 2803597