9 Feb 2015

Donor nations supporting Cooks to meet

6:38 am on 9 February 2015

Donor nations supporting the Cook Islands are meeting this week and the finance minister, Mark Brown, says he will put forward initiatives to strengthen the public service.

The European Union, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Green Climate Fund and sectors of the United Nations will be at the meeting.

A key donor, China, will not be there because the meeting clashes with the Chinese New Year.

The Cook Islands News reports the development programme manager Morgan Hanks as saying the focus will be on building development partner confidence in the country's national systems.

Mr Brown says in addition to helping develop the public service he wants an emphasis on growing agri-business.

"Leveraging off things like the Chinese machinery that is going to be available to clear large tracts of land in the outer islands. Tied into that will be issues around shipping and transportation, and maybe looking at subsidising some of those costs to make it viable for the outer islands to get into the production side of things."

The Cook Islands finance minister, Mark Brown.

The Donor Round Table is from February 9th-12th.