Monday, 4 April 2011 8:45 AM

Solomon's Ready to Trade with MSG: PM

Prime Minister Danny Philip has said that Solomon Islands are ready to trade with other Melanesian Spearhead Group members under the revised MSG Trade Agreement.

Speaking at the 18th meeting of the MSG leaders on trade and economic issues, Mr Philip said that Solomon Islands has recently endorsed the revised MSG Trade Agreement and the relevant legal notice has been issued to give effect to the Agreement.

But he said there is a need to implement the revised MSG Trade Agreement by all MSG members.

Mr Philip also urged fellow MSG leaders that improved trade and increased investment opportunities are essential ingredients for countries within the MSG to prosper and grow in the coming years.

He said there is also an urgent need for MSG members to conclude at the earliest possible opportunity the MSG Framework Treaty on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and expression of culture.

Prime Minister Philip said that in order for the MSG to survive into the future as a vibrant and relevant regional body, leaders must provide leadership to officials and the Secretariat to ensure the MSG remains pragmatic and responsive to the needs and aspirations of members.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu as well as the FLNKS of New Caledonia. It was founded as a political gathering in 1983. On 23 March 2007, members signed the Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group, formalizing the group under international law. It is headquartered in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

One of the key features of the MSG is the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement, a sub-regional preferential trade agreement established to foster and accelerate economic development through trade relations and provide a political framework for regular consultations and review on the status of the Agreement. Negotiations are held regularly between the members' leaders to consider the progress and developments of the agreement.

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