REMARKS: Opening Statement by the Chair of the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting, Hon. Tingika Elikana

Delivered by Hon. Tingika Elikana Associate Minister for Justice, Finance and Economic Management, Foreign Affairs and Immigration – Cook Islands

at the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting

6 October 2023, Suva, Fiji.


Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, SMEs and Communication, Fiji

Honorable Ministers;

Heads of Delegations and Representatives of Forum Member Countries;

His Excellency, Mr. Henry Puna,  PIFS Secretary General;

Representatives of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific;

Representatives of Technical Agencies and Development Partners;


Secretariat Staff;

Ladies and Gentlemen.


Kia Orana,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this Forum Trade Ministers Meeting. I wish to convey my government’s appreciation to the Government of Fiji for assisting the Secretariat on advancing our regional trade work programme.

As the Chair of the Forum, Cook Islands is looking forward to welcoming some of you at the upcoming 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting from 6-10 November in Rarotonga.

The topic of this year’s Forum Leaders meeting is “Our Voices, Our Choices; Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper”. The topic is also aligned with the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. The development of the Implementation Plan of the Strategy is underway and will be endorsed by Leaders during their convening. Cook Islands looks forward to welcoming all of you to our beautiful shores.

Cook Islands will submit for consideration of Forum Leaders the ‘Pacific Partnership for Prosperity (PPfP)’ that has nine initiatives. Key among those nine initiatives is the development of the Regional Framework on Climate Mobility which has been championed by Tuvalu and Fiji and balancing the Pacific Labour Mobility Framework. The PPfP represents existing and new initiatives that have transformative potential by attracting new funding, investment and partnerships to benefit our Pacific Communities.

Esteemed colleagues, we have a very detailed Agenda before us and our duty now is to consider issues and recommend the way forward. I therefore put every trust and confidence in the collective wisdom of this meeting.

With these few remarks and noting the tight schedules ahead of us I wish you fruitful deliberations.

Thank you.



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