Thursday, 8 November 2007 3:06 PM

Japan, ADB, PIF Build Regional Cooperation

Japan, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) are launching a $1.07 million technical assistance project focused on enhancing regional cooperation among Pacific island countries.

Japan, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) are launching a $1.07 million technical assistance project focused on enhancing regional cooperation among Pacific island countries.

Japan will contribute $1 million to the technical assistance (TA) project, Strengthening Regional Cooperation among Pacific Developing Member Countries, through a grant under the Japan Special Fund. PIFS is the executing agency for the project, and will contribute $70,000 to the project, which is expected to run until October 2008.

"For resource and capacity constrained small islands, regional cooperation can be a mechanism to provide essential services in a cost-effective manner," said Feleti Teo, Deputy Secretary General, PIFS. "This project will support the implementation of the Pacific Plan through increased awareness of regional cooperation as a mechanism to better meet national needs and priorities."

The project will fund seminars for government, private sector, and non-government stakeholders to enhance awareness of, and demand for, regional cooperation for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. It will help Pacific governments develop national frameworks for identifying opportunities for cooperation within the region. Through national level discussion and a regional workshop, regional and sub regional projects will be identified and developed to a stage where they may be considered for funding.

"The experience of the Pacific shows strengthening regional cooperation is a long and complex process," said Emma Ferguson, ADB Regional Cooperation Economist. "This project was designed in close consultation with PIFS, and aims to create a process that will allow countries to better capture the benefits of regional cooperation."