HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 587: 27 October 2011

HERALD EXCLUSIVE: Minister’s trip to strengthen bi-lateral relations with China
Acting Minister of Marine Resources Teariki Heather has confirmed that Minister Bishop’s visit to China is all part of the Cook Islands Governments approach to maintaining and strengthening its bi-lateral relationship with the People’s Republic of China PRC following the Prime Ministers own recent successful visit in September.
Minister Heather says Bishop’s visit is in 3 stages. The first stage is a visit to Kunming to attend the China International Travel Mart at the invitation of co-hosts China National Tourism Association, General Administration of Civil Aviation of China and the Yunnan Provincial People’s Government from 26 – 29 Oct. The Minister is accompanied by Mr Ewan Smith Managing Director of Air Rarotonga who will advise the Minister on related Aviation matters of interest to our Government. This trip is fully funded by the sponsors.
The second stage is a visit to Taiwan to meet with the Yuh Yow Fisheries and complete the signing of their fisheries Agreement following several months of negotiations. This part of the trip is also fully sponsored by the Yuh Yow Fisheries and is from 29 – 31 Oct.
The third and most important stage is the trip to China with visits to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzen. Minister Bishop will be accompanied on this part of the visit with Carmel Beattie CEO Tourism, Jenner Davis CEO Financial Services, Ben Ponia Marine Resources, Tina Browne Chair Cook Islands Pearl Authority and Minister’s CEO George Turia. This stage begins on 1 Nov and concludes on 10 Nov.
The significance of this visit is a combination of factors which involves dialogue with sector based officials which is why our top senior Government officials have been included on this delegation. A number of meetings and visits have been arranged for the delegation to look at ways of developing and strengthening our relationships within these sectors through marketing, product development and sales promotion.
Primarily, the Minister will also be meeting with top Fisheries officials regarding the signing of the Fisheries Access Agreements which have also been under negotiation for a number of months. During these discussions, an invitation on behalf of the Cook Islands Government will be extended for a High Level Ministerial delegation to visit the Cook Islands early in the new year to sign the Bi-lateral Relationship Agreement which is currently in draft form following Minister Bishop’s earlier visit to China. This part of the trip is partially funded by the China Fisheries Association with all other costs met by the delegation themselves.
During this visit, Minister Bishop and his delegation will meet up with Minister Heather and the Cook Islands Cultural Dance Team who are attending the Guangdong International Tourism and Cultural Festival being held in Guangzhou from 4 – 8 Nov. During this final leg of the visit, Minister Bishop will also be visiting several factories relative to tourism, education and marine activities.
Minister Bishop is aware of the sensitivities surrounding the PRC’s potential input in fisheries activities and is insistent on ensuring that the interests of the Cook Islands is maintained at all times during these delicate negotiations.
It is expected that Minister Bishop will provide a more detailed information paper to Cabinet on his return followed by a press statement. -Charles Pitt

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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