PORT VILA, VANUATU (21 January 2022): Talks have begun between the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) on the Host Agreement for a Melanesia Trade Adviser, under the EDF11 Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT) Project.

Yesterday’s dialogue recognized the complementary role that PIFS and the MSG Secretariat play to improve intra-regional and international trade and boost economic growth of Melanesian countries. It was also an opportunity to finalise the draft Host Agreement which will facilitate the deployment of a Melanesia Trader Adviser to the MSG Secretariat in Vanuatu.

Funded by the European Union (EU), the SPIRIT Project is an output of the 11th EDF for the Pacific Regional Integration Support (PRISE) Programme and implemented by PIFS. The SPIRIT project aims to boost and increase intra-regional and international trade through strengthening of institutional and human capacity of Pacific ACP countries (PACP). Under this project, sub-regional Trade Advisers will be responsible for implementing specific key result areas in the SPIRIT Project to address relevant needs of the sub-region.

The MSG Secretariat is seeking a possible Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for further collaboration with PIFS beyond the areas of trade and the draft Host Agreement to guide the implementation of specific projects such as SPIRIT.

Caption: Representatives of PIFS and the MSG Secretariat at yesterday’s meeting.

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