Forum Secretariat congratulates Vanuatu at launch of Trade Policy Framework

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has commended the Government of Vanuatu on the launch of its national Trade Policy Framework on 20 July in Port Vila.

“The Secretariat through the Hubs and Spokes Project has been assisting Forum island countries (FICs) to formulate comprehensive Trade Policy Frameworks to contribute to the objectives of the Pacific Plan. The Frameworks assist FICs to increase sustainable trade including services and investment, improve efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure development and associated service delivery; and increase private sector participation in, and contribution to, development,” said Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat.

“With this in mind I wish to congratulate the Government of Vanuatu and other stakeholders in seeing the importance of having a comprehensive national Trade Policy Framework that will guide the country on various trade policy initiatives,” said Mr Slade.

Mr Slade added: “The Secretariat stands ready to assist the Government of Vanuatu implement its Trade Policy Framework as well as other FICs which have already launched similar Frameworks or are planning to do so in the near future.”

When launching the Vanuatu Trade Policy Framework in Port Vila on 20 July, Prime Minister, Hon. Sato Kilman Livtuvanu expressed his appreciation for the support of the Forum Secretariat through the Hub and Spokes Project.

“The Project, administered for the Pacific by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, has not only been crucial in the provision of technical assistance for the drafting of the Trade Policy Framework, but has also provided full logistical support for the convening of the first National Trade and Development Council,” said Prime Minister Livtuvanu.

“It is fair to say that without the Hub and Spokes support I would not be here today to cherish this great policy accomplishment.”

The Hub and Spokes Project, which is funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the European Union, has assisted the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Nauru and Vanuatu to formulate their Trade Policy Frameworks. The Project is in the process of finalising Trade Policy Frameworks for Niue, Palau and Fiji which are expected to be completed this year. The next phase will focus on formulating Trade Policy Frameworks for Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Cook Islands.

Forum Secretary General Mr Slade has also congratulated Vanuatu on becoming the 157th Member of the World Trade Organisation(WTO).

On 25 July, the WTO declared to its General Council that Vanuatu had concluded its Accession Protocol and will become the 157th Member of the Multilateral Trading System/WTO.

“I congratulate Vanuatu for formally depositing its WTO ratification instruments. Vanuatu’s engagement in WTO will ensure that they an integral part of the decision making process on global trade matters,” Mr Slade said.

Congratulatory messages to Vanuatu have been flowing in from WTO Members, including from Pacific neighbours already members of the world trade body.

ENDS.

For media enquiries contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on phone 679 331 2600 or email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj