25 Feb 2005

Kiribati President says Forum plan must cater to individual states' needs

8:39 am on 25 February 2005

The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, says Pacific states will want to see that their individual needs are catered for, in the Pacific Plan on closer regional links.

Submissions are now being sought on the Pacific Plan but Mr Tong says much of the content is familiar to Pacific countries.

He says there's no single project that can address the concerns of all Forum member states, but he says, to succeed, the Plan will require goodwill, commitment, sharing and sacrifice.

President Tong says trade's not a major issue for Kiribati.

Mr Tong supports the concept of free trade, but he says the mobility of labour is a concern.

"I think we have always been asking for that because we have a lot of people. Employment is a concern. I believe there are mutual benefits to be gained by those offering employment and people from developing countries like Kiribati getting access to employment."