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Monday, May 14, 2007

Solomons Director of Trade urged Ambassadorial meeting of WTO Council not to ban fisheries transaction fees

The Director of Solomon Islands Trade, Heinz Vaekesa, has told a packed Ambassadorial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Council held in Geneva last week not to ban all transactions fees in fisheries access agreements.

Mr Vaekesa said that fisheries is the sector that has the potential to lift island nations people out of poverty.

He said this can only happen if access fees, assistance to small-scale fishermen, and fiscal incentives to facilitate the development of capabilities of small island states are excluded from any new rules on fisheries subsidies.

George Hoa’au, a Solomon Islander currently attached to the Geneva-based Forum WTO Office, joined Vaekesa in stressing the importance of the fisheries subsidies negotiations in the Rules Negotiating Group.

He thanked the delegations of Japan, New Zealand and the United States for the regular consultations to find some common ground and a way forward on some of the issues that continue to divide them.

Source: SIBC

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