SUVA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) signed a new project worth 14.3 million Fijian dollars (about 7 million U.S. dollars) on Wednesday to enhance the trade capacity of Pacific countries.
According to a statement by the PIFS, the project titled "Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT)" aims at boosting and increasing intra-regional and international trade by strengthening institutional and technical capacity in the region. It will facilitate the implementation of trade agreements, in particular, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy 2020-2025.
The SPIRIT will also contribute to the development of a statistical monitoring framework that will foster greater regional economic integration.
"The implementation of SPIRIT will ease trade challenges faced by the Pacific countries and focus on creating opportunities to trade regionally and internationally. Most importantly, it will strengthen the capacities of trade departments in the region through the provision of a technical position at the sub-regional level in each of the three sub-regions in the Pacific," Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor said.
Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific Sujiro Seam said the EU is a development partner of the Pacific.
"This SPIRIT project comes at the right time, to alleviate the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Pacific economies, build value and growth in the region and take advantage of the business opportunities offered in the European market," he said.
The SPIRIT will be managed and implemented by the PIFS over the next four years. Enditem