Fiji was among the fifteen countries that participated in the inaugural Indonesia South Pacific Forum (ISPF) themed ‘Our future, shared ocean, shared prosperity’ which was held in Jakarta from the 20th to 21st March 2019.
The ISPF forum was a historic event as it was the first time for Indonesia to organise a forum that brought together the South-Pacific countries and it focused on having robust collaborations in maritime economy and connectivity in the region.
While officially opening the forum, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Jusuf Kalla, said the event would be a platform to address the emerging challenges and forge new areas of partnership within the Indo-Pacific region. He said the objective is to find points of synergy and cooperation that will contribute to the enhancement of regional architecture.
It enabled the Pacific island delegates to discuss strategies in achieving common goals of peaceful, prosperous and inclusive region through consolidated information sharing and panel discussions on 3 key areas of Sustainable Development Goal’s, Maritime Co-operation and Infrastructure and Connectivity. The forum also enabled the Indonesian business and trade expositions to foster stronger relations with the Pacific Island Region.
In his remarks, PS Naivalurua congratulated the Government of Indonesia for initiating and hosting the ISPF, adding that Fiji attaches great importance to such forums and its significance in regional and sub-regional cooperation which are crucial to addressing the urgent global mandate and aspiration towards, “Leave no one behind”. He elaborated that infrastructure, trade sector and blue economy is crucial to fulfilling this mandate.
PS Naivalurua also acknowledged Indonesia’s leadership in this regard and reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to strengthening engagement towards advancing the objectives of the ISPF.
A key feature of the forum was also the launching of negotiations for Indonesia-Fiji Preferential Trade Arrangement to strengthen the bilateral trade and economic relations and boost business networking between Fiji and Indonesia.
Being the hub within the pacific region, it would enable Fiji to leverage greater support for its bilateral trade relations and unlock opportunities for the region to integrate into the global market.