SPEECH: HON. PRIME MINISTER JOSAIA VOREQE BAINIMARAMA AT JOINT PRESS EVENT WITH EU COMMISSIONER FOR INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

His Excellency, Mr Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development
Members of the Press,
Distinguished Guests.

I extend my sincere appreciation to the EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development, Mr Mimica, for the opportunity to meet bilaterally with him this morning.

We had a very fruitful meeting and held discussions on a range of important issues with a view to strengthening and deepening our bilateral relations.
Today marks another milestone in the full restoration of our longstanding co-operation provided for under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

Through the signature today of Fiji’s National Indicative Programme for the period 2014–2020 totalling 28 million Euros, we have charted a new course of close and mutual co-operation in various areas of development.

While Fiji continued to be a beneficiary of the Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for the Pacific region, the signature of the National Indicative Programme has provided the legal basis for EU bilateral aid in two mutually agreed focal sectors, namely:

i. Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (20 million Euros); and

ii. Public Administration Reform and Governance (7.5 million Euros).

The remaining balance of 0.5 million Euros will be directed towards the provision of measures to support or accompany the programming, preparation or implementation of actions.

On behalf of the Government and the people of Fiji, I express our deep appreciation for the assistance that the European Union is providing to Fiji.

I am confident that as a result of today’s meeting, Fiji-EU bilateral relations will be conducted at a much higher level.

Vinaka Vakalevu – Thank you.