Peter Costello

Media Releases

Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting

NO.047

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM ECONOMIC MINISTERS’ MEETING (FEMM)

The Treasurer will attend the 8th annual Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting, to be held in Rotorua, New Zealand, on 8-10 June 2004.

FEMM will be held against a backdrop of the increasingly serious economic and development challenges facing many Forum Island Countries (FICs). The meeting will emphasise the imperative of FICs moving quickly to implement comprehensive reform. It will assist FICs in addressing the difficult challenges of implementing the reforms necessary to achieve sustainable growth, stronger institutions and more robust economic governance.

As demonstrated by actions in Solomon Islands and elsewhere in the Pacific, and by the significant allocation of resources in the 2004-05 Budget to improved governance in the region, Australia is adopting a robust approach to the regional reform task. The implementation of the Forum Economic Action Plan, first agreed at the inaugural FEMM in 1997, provides a clear path for FICs to address their significant development challenges.

Reform implementation issues will be highlighted at the meeting by consideration of the second biennial stocktake of the region’s progress in implementing economic and governance reform. Reform achievements over the past two years will be assessed against the Action Plan and FEMM’s Eight Principles of Accountability.

The FEMM meeting will have a strong focus on addressing the practical difficulties of implementing economic governance and institutional reform. It will discuss key issues in the management of public sector economic enterprises, the importance of economically sustainable solutions to problems in the aviation and shipping sectors in the region, and how economic change, growth and development are influenced and facilitated by institutional reform.

Economic Ministers will have the opportunity to build on the reform agenda endorsed by the Prime Minister and other Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their meeting in Auckland in April, where they identified the key goals of the Forum as economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security. The nature of these goals demonstrates the key role of FEMM in supporting the regional reform agenda.

CANBERRA
7 June 2004

Contact: David Alexander
02 6277 7340

7 Jun 2004

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