29 Aug 2005

Fiji and PNG express concern over Pacific Plan

2:25 pm on 29 August 2005

Fiji and Papua New Guinea have expressed concern about aspects of the Forum Secretariat's Pacific Plan for the future of the region.

The plan covers economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security.

Aspects of the Plan are to be finalised at the next Forum Leaders' summit in Port Moresby in October.

But Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, says there is concern that the Pacific Plan will not provide regional countries with market access to Australia, New Zealand and other major trading partners.

Mr Qarase says both he and his PNG counterpart, Sir Michael Somare, believe economic expansion is essential to provide jobs and incomes.

Sir Michael, who is on an official visit to Fiji, has expressed similar concerns and says the trade access issue will be raised at the Forum summit in Port Moresby.