11 Feb 2010

Regional co-operation a key to Pacific coping with economic crisis

3:20 pm on 11 February 2010

Government ministers attending a United Nations conference in Vanuatu this week have been urged to cooperate more fully with each other if they are to ride out the world's financial recession.

More than 200 delegates are in the capital, Port Vila for the Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis Conference which aims to come up with measures to protect the most vulnerable groups from the worst effects of the recession.

Annell Husband reports from the conference

"Fiji's permanent secretary for national planning used his presentation this morning to call for more regional and sub-regional cooperation. In line with this Peter Wise says his government is working to encourage cooperation on trade issues between Melanesian countries, in the form of the Melanesian group. Mr Wise says its critical that Pacific countries look to form new trade partnerships with the likes of India and China. He says in the current economic climate, sole dependence on traditional partners such as Australia and New Zealand is no longer possible. Mr Wise's comments contrasted strongly with those made during the presentation from Palau, in which the Vice-President Kerai Mariur emphasised his country's continued reliance on donor assistance."