10 Jun 2005

US pins hopes of Pacific trade revival on JCC

2:50 pm on 10 June 2005

The United States Ambassador to Fiji is hoping that trade links between Pacific countries and the US can be boosted through the re-establishment of a now moribund agency.

The Joint Commercial Commission was first mooted in 1990 by President George Bush Senior, with the aim of identifying and addressing trade opportunities and concerns with Pacific Islands countries.

The JCC went into action in 1993 but has languished since 2003 and Ambassador David Lyon says Pacific countries need to take the lead in re-establishing it.

He has told the Fiji Economics Association that a re-invigorated JCC represents an opportunity for Pacific nations to boost trade and investment between themselves and the United States.

He says it can be a strong instrument toward removing obstacles and identifying business opportunities.

The Ambassador says the US will not take the initiative in rebuilding the JCC, but will be responsive to smart, well-organized efforts by Island states.

He also says to fulfill its potential, the JCC needs some form of permanent bureaucracy to provide guidance and continuity.