SPEITT Project implementation running smoothly

The implementation of the various components of the Strengthening Pacific Economic Integration Through Trade (SPEITT) Programme has been running smoothly, the SPEITT Project Steering Committee (PSC) was informed at their inaugural meeting held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva, Fiji today. SPEITT is funded under the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and directly benefits the 15 Pacific ACP states.

“The objective of the SPEITT Programme is to improve economic integration through strengthened national systems and institutional frameworks to develop trade capacity, increase private sector competitiveness and increase international market access,” Director of the Economic Governance Programme at the Forum Secretariat, and Chair of the SPEITT PSC, Mr Shiu Raj stated.

SPEITT is aligned with the Pacific Plan pillar to stimulate and enhance economic growth. The development and design of the SPEITT Programme came about through a concerted effort by the Pacific ACP States as part of their engagement in trade negotiations and in anticipation of commitments under various trade agreements. PACP States defined and quantified their Aid for Trade needs through the 2009 Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy which was the basis for the formulation of SPEITT Programme.

The SPEITT Programme is coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The implementation period of SPEITT is from 2011 to 2014, and includes four project components: the Pacific Integration & Technical Assistance Project (PITAP); Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (IACT) Project; Trade Facilitation in Customs Cooperation (TFCC) Project; and Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Project (PRTCBP). PITAP is implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; IACT by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community; TFCC Project by the Oceania Customs Organisation; and PRTCBP by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation. At the inaugural meeting of the SPEITT Project Steering Committee today, participants noted the updates provided by the implementing agencies on the progress to date and the challenges faced by these agencies.

“The Steering Committee agreed that a coordinated effort was needed by all project components to ensure that the targets as set out in the overall logical framework of SPEITT are achieved within the project period,” Mr Raj confirmed.

Members of the SPEITT Steering Committee includes representatives of the Pacific ACP States, Regional Authorising Officer, implementing agencies, Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, relevant technical agencies, and other development partners.

“Besides the progress report of the implementation of SPEITT the Steering Committee meeting also discussed the Result Oriented Monitoring Reports for each component, the relevant Logical Frameworks, including issues and challenges faced by the project components,” Mr Raj added.

The participants at the SPEITT Project Steering Committee thanked the European Union for funding the SPEITT components and the Forum Secretariat for coordinating the programme.

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