23 May 2012

Forum head urges Pacific's integration into Asia

12:57 pm on 23 May 2012

The secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum has told a meeting in Bangkok of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific that Pacific countries cannot be isolated from economic integration initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tuiloma Neroni Slade says integration for the Pacific islands with Asia would mean being plugged in to more advanced economies and trading systems and greater investment flows into the region.

He says Pacific leaders have identified significant growth potential in fisheries, agriculture, minerals and tourism.

In addition, he says focusing on trade in services and temporary labour mobility to support growth is important.

Mr Slade says the smallness of most Pacific economies, and their isolation, have led to a focus on high-value niche market exports.