2 Feb 2004

The Cooks Prime Minister says his country is working to improve its banking sector

7:39 am on 2 February 2004

The Cook Islands prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, says he is seeking help from New Zealand to set up a task force to help improve his country's banking sector.

He says the Cook Islands is committed to developing its financial sector.

But he says the country doesn't have the capacity to achieve this and it needs external expertise.

Dr Woonton says he is meeting officials from New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week to discuss what is required.

He says the country wants to be removed from an International Monetary Fund blacklist by the end of this year.

"We are hoping we will be assessed by the International Monetary Fund, and become delisted. and will hopefully be delisted later this year from the blacklist of the FATF. We've already been removed from the OCED blacklist, and we want to be delisted from FATF list."