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Tuesday, 01 September 2009

EU funds project to boost Pacific trade

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will receive 4 million EURO over five years to implement the project. During the 2006 Pacific Islands Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services meeting, SPC’s Land Resource Division was asked to submit a proposal to the EU to fund a pilot project on Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade (FACT). FACT team leader, Dr Lex Thomson, said the proposal, which was approved last year, was born out of the desire of Pacific Island nations to increase their trade in agriculture and forestry products as a way of reducing trade deficits, alleviating rural poverty and stemming urban drift. “Unlike previous SPC projects, FACT is designed to provide support to private sector enterprises within the existing commercial farming and forestry sector,” Dr Thomson said. The main objective of the project is to transform selected commercial ventures and producer groups into export-oriented, market-driven enterprises that will consistently supply overseas markets with competitive products. Dr Thomson added that the overall aim of FACT is to contribute to the integration of the 14 Pacific ACP countries into the regional and global economy.
Source: Fiji Broadcasting Corporation