$2.2b assistance from EU - Solomon Star News

$2.2b assistance from EU

14 April 2014

THE European Union has provided euro 845.5million ($F2.2billion) worth of development assistance to the Pacific region from 2008-2013.

And according to Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific ambassador Andrew Jacobs, euro 68.5m ($F173m) was dedicated specifically to supporting regional integration through trade.

"This is likely to continue to be a focus for EU support in the coming years. Far from receiving an inadequate share of our global assistance, per capita the Pacific benefits from the largest EU contribution among the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) regions, including in relation to aid for trade," he said Saturday.

"During the last five years on a per capita basis, the EU's aid for trade to the Pacific region has been almost twice as much as in the Caribbean and five times higher than in Africa. In the next seven years, this relative advantage of the Pacific is set to increase even further."

Reacting to remarks by Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the PACP trade and fisheries ministerial meeting this week that the economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations were skewed in favour of the EU, Mr Jacobs said there were no other trade agreement that offered generous terms combined with the level of asymmetry that the EPA offered.

"We are very pleased that the Pacific trade and fisheries ministers have meet in Suva this week and hope that their discussions have helped the countries of the region to come together and adopt a united and unequivocal position on how they see the continuation of the EPA process," Mr Jacobs said.