Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
PM Bainimarama has just returned from participating successfully at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Hanoi, Vietnam. During the meeting the PM was chosen spokesman for the Pacific and interceded successfully for the Pacific with the ADB. The PM also had the opportunity to have successful bilaterals with China and the ADB Executive Management.
Prime Minister Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama joined the other thirteen (13) Governors from the Pacific Developing Member Countries (PDMC) in the 21st Pacific Developing Member Countries Governors Meeting with the ADB Management on 3rd May, 2011. During the meeting, the Prime Minister was chosen by the PDMCs to be the spokesperson on the subject of Regional Co-operation and Integration. In his intervention, Mr Bainimarama emphasized the importance of working together to collectively address issues of common interests affecting the Pacific. He stressed that regional co-operation was critical for the survival of Pacific Island countries given our vulnerabilities. He said it was unfortunate that Pacific solidarity was slowly disintegrating as a result of politics and outside interference. Solidarity would only come about when there is equal and fair treatment for all countries, without the interference of outside parties. The Prime Minister also informed the Bank of the need to discuss other relevant and pressing concerns apart from the three (3) main issues on the agenda. This included the need to assist Pacific Member States cope with the impacts of the high fuel and commodity prices and its impact on economic performance.
During the meeting Prime Minister Bainimarama, also met with the People’s Republic of China, Vice Minister for Finance, Mr Yong. Both leaders acknowledged the good working relationship between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975. Commodore Bainimarama expressed the Fijian Government's appreciation and gratitude for China’s ongoing support and assistance to the people of Fiji. “While some development partners had turned their backs on Fiji during its time of need, the People’s Republic of China remained a true friend who continued to provide development assistance,” the Prime Minister said. He briefed the minister on the progress of major projects funded by China as well as provided an update on the status of the economy. He also thanked China for recognising Fiji’s sovereign rights to determine its own destiny.
Mr Li, in his remarks stated China attached great importance on its relationship with Fiji and hoped this relationship would continue to grow stronger. China he added, respected the development approach the country is taking, and hoped Fiji would capitalise on the economic opportunities available as well as the technical expertise the country had to offer. China is willing to continue providing development assistance and to expand economic co-operation into new areas. Mr Li hopes that t such assistance will make a difference in promoting economic development and raise the living standards of the people of Fiji.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also met the president of ADB and expressed Fiji’s commitment to Asian Development Bank President, Haruhiko Kuroda. Commodore Bainimarama has sought the ADB’s assistance to achieve its development objectives in Fiji. He briefed Kuroda on the latest economic developments in Fiji including the revised growth estimates, progress of on-going reforms and the status of existing ADB funded projects. Bainimarama reiterated his request for the Bank’s re-engagement with Fiji and the need to develop an Interim Strategy. He also outlined the reasons for Fiji deferring engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Standby-Arrangement (SBA) program. Commodore Bainimarama also reassured the president and the international community of his commitment to holding general elections in the third quarter of 2014.
Kuroda congratulated Bainimarama saying, while the three Bank funded projects in Fiji are progressing well, there are some hurdles to the prospects of re-engagement - including concerns expressed by some Pacific Island countries about the situation in Fiji.
Prime Minister Bainimarama with the People’s Republic of China, Vice Minister for Finance, Mr Yong
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji