PIF, World Bank sign cooperation agreement

16:01, October 29, 2009      

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The World Bank and the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)in Rarogonta, the Cook Islands, on Thursday to strengthen cooperation in the Pacific.

The agreement will see the organizations work closely to support their joint vision of development in the Pacific and greater regional cooperation, consistent with the Pacific Plan, the PIF Secretariat said in a media statement.

The agreement was signed by Juan Jose Daboub, Managing Director for the World Bank and Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

"We are committed to strengthening our partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat," said Juan Jose Daboub. "We value the pivotal role the Forum plays in the region and look forward to working closely together on our shared development objectives."

"This MOU reflects the priority Forum Leaders place on greater coordination between all development actors in the Pacific," said Slade. "It will deepen and expand upon existing areas of regional cooperation in order to support greater regional integration and bring real benefits to the lives of Pacific peoples."

Slade added that the agreement will pave the way for further cooperation in areas such as labour mobility, which has already delivered substantial results to Pacific countries.

To date, the Bank's support to labour mobility has helped facilitate both recognized and pilot labour schemes in New Zealand and Australia.

These schemes have greatly enhanced economic opportunities for the countries involved, injecting an estimated 38 million U.S. dollars into Pacific economies.

In line with the Forum Minister's priorities, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and World Bank envisage a number of additional areas of potential medium-term cooperation, including regional economic regulation, petroleum supply chain studies and strengthening of regional audit capacities.

Source: Xinhua
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