Pacific trade relations with China remains vital


THROUGH trade, investment and bilateral ties, the Pacific remains an important strategic link in China’s greater periphery diplomacy.
This link over the years has developed a complementary relationship between China and Pacific Island countries in terms of economic development and natural endowments.
China continued its support to the region through the China-Pacific Islands Forum Cooperation Fund with a $US1.05 million (K3.4 million) handover.
The China-PIF Cooperative Fund was established in 2000 to support trade, investment, tourism and personal exchange between China and Forum countries.
One of the key initiatives under the fund is support to the Pacific Islands Trade and Invest which works closely with Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) country embassies in Beijing to develop and strengthen networks between Pacific businesses and Chinese markets.
The $US3.08 million (K12.4 million) contribution was officially handed over to the forum secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor by China’s ambassador to Fiji, Zhang Ping.
Zhang, in a statement, said the support reiterated the great importance of the relationship between China and Pacific Islands countries.
This, he said, would further enhance the bilateral dialogue, exchanges and co-operation in various fields and persists to provide assistance and aid within its capacity.
“We sincerely welcome the Pacific Islands countries participation in the co-operation of ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative to realise common development through win-win cooperation,” Zhang said.
According to the statement released by the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat, trade statistics released by PTI China last year showed that the 14 Forum islands countries exported $US2.5b (K8.2 billion) worth of goods to China in 2015, up from $US2b (K6.6 billion) in 2014.
China’s exports to the forum island countries in the same year doubled from $US2.5b (K8.2 billion) in 2014 to $US5b (K16.2 billion). – The Fiji Times Online

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