The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka on Monday 29th August 2016 signed a revised Joint Commitment for Development with his New Zealand counter-part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCully in Wellington, New Zealand.
The Joint Commitment for Development (JCFD)is the key agreement between both countries that sets the shared vision and commitment of both governments on the priority focus areas of development assistance and cooperation.
The revised Joint Commitment is based on the goal of “achieving economic growth, a well-educated workforce, and a safe and stable Solomon Islands”.
The four priority areas under the revised JCfD are economic growth, quality education, safety and stability and partnerships. The finer details of the development assistance will be discussed by officials of both countries in the implementation of the various programmes and projects that fall under those four key priority areas.
The recent announcement by New Zealand of NZ$7.7m (SB$42m) to support the Aviation sector which includes the 2nd phase of the Munda Alternative International Airport as well as the upgrading of the 3 domestic airports in the country is directly linked to economic growth and their commitment to support the tourism industry.
Minister Tozaka was on an Official visit to New Zealand as Guest of the New Zealand Government after attending the Forum Trade Ministers’ meeting in Christchurch.
During his visit, Minister Tozaka held bilateral meeting with the Minister of Police, Hon Judith Collins, MP and the Minister of Immigration who is also responsible for RSE, Hon Michael Woodhouse.
Minister Tozaka and delegation also held discussions with Mr Anton Ojala, Manager Pacific Division and Mr David Nicholson, Director for Pacific Development Division and other senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the PACER Plus, Post-RAMSI, Joint Commitment for Development and other bilateral issues of importance.
Officials accompanying the Hon Minster on his first Official visit to New Zealand include; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr Joseph Ma’ahanua; the Under Secretary (Technical), Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Mr Jimmy Nuake; the Director of Tourism, Mr Bunyan Sivoro, the Chairman of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau, Mr Wilson Ne’e; Senior Desk Officer, Pacific Division, MFAET, Mr Ellison Mason; Senior Trade Officer, MFAET, Mr Jack Wanearoa and joining from the Solomon Islands High Commission in Wellington is Her Excellency, the High Commissioner, Her Excellency Joy Kere and the Minister Counsellor, Mr Cornelius Walegerea.
The Minister and delegation will arrive back in the country this weekend.