HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 577: 17 August 2011

Marsters, Bishop off to PNG meeting

A high level government delegation is to attend the Joint Pacific ACP States Fisheries and Trade Ministers Meeting in Port Moresby from 8-9 August 2011.
Representing the Cook Islands will be DPM Hon Tom Marsters and Minister for Marine Hon Teina Bishop.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to issue a media release on the trip.
There is to be a Joint Pacific ACP States Fisheries and Trade Ministers Meeting on 8 August followed on 9 August by a Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting.
Officials will be accompanying the Ministers including Foreign Affairs Secretary Jim Gosselin. Officials are to meet on 4-5 August prior to the Ministers deliberations.
Officials will discuss issues with recommendations to be put to their Ministers for consideration and decisions.
Information from the Meeting website indicates that several key matters will be discussed including offers of market access, aid for trade and fishery negotiations.
Access to European Union markets for Cook Islands Tuna must be a high priority but doing business with the EU can present some constraints in setting up legally binding agreements and cost effective implementation and administration procedures given access to EU markets is governed by highly regulated directives, standards of compliance and tight certification and approval requirements.
The danger of being locked in to the EU bureaucracy can mean surrender of some sovereignty and exposure of local export industries to mechanisms which distort costs and cause inflation.
For instance, who meets the initial and on-going cost of upgrading fish processing plants to EU standards? The cost is passed to the local consumer. Our government has no say or control of over this and that cannot be a good thing.
Before government commits to any EU offer, they need to look further down the line at what might come back to bite them.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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