PM to remove barriers for Pacific Islands

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 5th June 2013

 PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the country supports initiatives of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to improve living standards and economies in the region.

He met members of the MSG’s eminent persons group (EPG) led by chairman Kaliopate Tavola who were visiting member countries to review the organisation two weeks ago.

O’Neill told the group that with positive economic growth levels in the past 11 years and with potential for further growth, PNG was inviting member countries and other Pacific Islands to participate in this growth through labour mobility, trade and investment.

“My government is working towards removing barriers within the MSG to enable more economic opportunities such as employment and trade and investment for our citizens,” he said.

Members of the group are Tavola representing Fiji, Mannaseh Sogavare (Solomon Islands), Joe Natuman (Vanuatu), Roch Wamytan representing the FLNKS of New Caledonia and Leonard Louma representing PNG.

The EPG was appointed by MSG leaders last year to review the organisation after 25 years of existence.

It was tasked to consult widely with governments, private sectors and relevant stakeholders on the progress and its effectiveness.

Tavola said the EPG had presented a preliminary report to the MSG senior officials in Honiara. 

He said it was widely accepted and the EPG was finalising it before the MSG leaders’ summit in Noumea on June 20. 

O’Neill confirmed that he would attend the Noumea meeting.