27 Oct 2006

Pacific region's small islands states weclomes Forum's energy efforts

7:52 am on 27 October 2006

The region's small islands states are welcoming a decision by the Pacific Islands Forum to intensify efforts in the next 12 months on co-operation in the areas of energy, transport and ICT.

The Kiribati president, Anote Tong, says the small island states have been hit particularly hard by rising fuel prices as it has a big impact on their economies.

Forum leaders say the issue of energy needs to be a priority focus, along with transport and ICT, because greater co-operation will deliver significant impacts to all the island communities.

Mr Tong is welcoming the focus due to the price shocks on their economies.

"We are feeling that very severely because of our small economies. We are inevitably at the end of the pipeline so we suffer the most. What to do about it? The secretariat is undertaking a survey into possibilities for bulk purchasing as a way of reducing costs."

Mr Tong says another possibility is that small island states may approach OPEC countries as a bloc to see if a deal could be arranged.