Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 20 September 2023 - Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister the Honourable Mark Brown met with Fiji Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs the Honourable Lenora Qereqeretabua last week, who was Fiji's Head of Delegation to the Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (FFMM) held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva.
Prime Minister Brown and Assistant Minister Qereqeretabua discussed progress on bilateral initiatives including the bilateral cooperation arrangement being finalised by Cook Islands and Fiji respective Foreign Ministries, the review and modernising of the bilateral air services agreement to support air connectivity, and efforts by both governments to promote expanded trade and business connections.
The two also discussed supply-side constraints and the value of strengthened shipping connectivity to support expanded trade, with Prime Minister Brown also providing some insight into the Cook Islands' deep sea minerals development journey, an update on the Cook Islands hosting of the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52), and the Cook Islands proposal for Pacific Partnerships for Prosperity (PPfP) to be considered by Forum Leaders when they meet in the Cook Islands in November.
"Amongst the nine initiatives the Cook Islands is proposing as PPfP, the development of the Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Mobility has been led by Tuvalu and Fiji, and balancing the Pacific Labour Mobility framework has been strongly supported by Fiji," said Prime Minister Brown. "I look forward to working with Assistant Minister Qereqeretabua and her government to advancing the PPfP’s which will deliver transformative support for our Pacific peoples."