Wednesday, 27 June 2012 9:15 PM

Forum Economic Ministers to Meet in Kiribati

Economic Ministers of the Pacific Islands Forum will gather for the 16th Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting (FEMM) in Tarawa, Kiribati from 2 - 4 July 2012.

The Forum Economic Ministers are meeting to build on issues discussed in previous meetings, at a time when global economic recovery is threatened. While the outlook for Forum Island economies is positive, risks remain elevated due to the challenging global economic environment.

"FEMM's earlier calls for possible mitigation measures, which include, consolidating fiscal positions and creating precautionary fiscal space, easing monetary policy (where appropriate), and reinvigorating structural reform, all remain sound ways of dealing with these projected global economic risks," said Tuiloma Neroni Slade, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

"The Roadmap for strengthening public financial management and the broadening of the economic base needs to remain central if we are to grow and develop as a region," Mr Slade said.

Mr Slade added that "A key issue put forward this year for Economic Ministers to deliberate on is the implementation of the Waiheke Declaration on Sustainable Economic Development as agreed to by the Forum Leaders in Auckland in 2011. The important role that Forum Economic Minsters can play in driving the implementation of the Waiheke Declaration will be a key issue for discussion."

Mr Slade also noted that Economic Ministers will discuss policy options to improve economic empowerment of women in the region, as an integral part of the Waiheke Declaration discussion.

The 16th FEMM will also update delegates on the progress of work to date on regional economic issues including: work on strengthening development policy and coordination; regional initiatives to improve statistics in the region; options for climate change financing; and access to finance for economic growth. The meeting will also hear updates on the ongoing work to reduce remittance costs to Forum Island Countries.

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