Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Viliame Gavoka represented Fiji at the first-ever ‘Korea-Pacific Islands Summit’ in Seoul, Republic of Korea yesterday.
Based on the theme, “Navigating towards Co-Prosperity: Strengthening Cooperation with the Blue Pacific,” the Summit was co-chaired by the President of the Republic of Korea His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol and Prime Minister of Cook Islands and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Chair, Honourable Mark Brown.
The Summit attended by the PIF Leaders and members served as a catalyst for building stronger partnerships in economic recovery, climate change, oceans and fisheries, trade and tourism, renewable energy, disaster risk resilience and people to people exchanges.
In his remarks, President Yoon Suk Yeol said the Summit marks a new beginning in the advancement of cooperation between South Korea and the Pacific Islands.
The Pacific Leaders reaffirmed their collective commitment to work closely with the Republic of Korea in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation through the endorsement of the Leaders Declaration and Joint Action Plan.
It was also an opportunity for Fiji to strengthen regional cooperation amidst current geopolitics and global challenges.
The way forward for the implementation of “2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent” and “Korea’s Indo-Pacific Strategy” was also discussed.
Importantly, Korea aims to deliver concrete action plans to mobilise higher level of funding and capacity building support for Fiji and the Pacific.
Fiji’s engagements in Korea also recognise our longstanding relations that have endured for over 51 years of close cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels.
Korea joined as a PIF Dialogue partner in 1995 and since then it has contributed immensely to Pacific’s development through various initiatives led by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Fiji’s delegation to 2023 Korea-Pacific Islands Summit also included Ambassador of Fiji to Japan, Filimone Waqabaca and Director Asia Bureau and Finance, Josefa Tuima.