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Fiji - EU strengthen high level political dialogue
10:23 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2020, Fiji

Fiji and the European Union (EU) are working to further strengthen and improve its partnership with key focus on how the EU can support an innovative and inclusive recovery from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is devastating small state economies worst of all.
 
With Fiji concluding its 5th High Level Political Dialogue with the EU, the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, speaking at a press conference, said “we expressed the urgency of the EU’s generous support towards the next round of IDA financing through the World Bank - a message we will soon carry to all our counterparts in the developed world”.  
 
“We covered a few outstanding issues related to trade relations, tax governance and visa facilitation. On the trade front, we urged the EU to grant Fiji the policy space to incentivise the growth of COVID-proof industries, such as in the ICT sector.”
 
“Among other areas for strategic cooperation, we spoke on oceans governance, including sustainable fisheries, and our joint work to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as well as cooperating on broader peace and security issues,” the AG said.
 
EU Ambassador to Fiji Sujiro Seam said it’s time to expand the current scope of programmes which primarily focus on climate change.
 
“It doesn’t mean that they become secondary. We will still work on sustainable development, climate and oceans but we are now ready to work on other issues and put more emphasis on business, economy, trade and defence and security.”
 
Ambassador Seam said there need to be ongoing discussions to better understand the COVID-19 recovery needs of Fiji and the Pacific.
 
Sayed-Khaiyum also conveyed his deepest condolences to the friends and family of  Julian Wilson, the former Head of the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, who passed away a few days ago.

SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/FBC NEWS/PACNEWS


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