Date Released: 
15/10/2009

A new economic report has warned that the 14 Pacific Island nations and East Timor need to develop niche markets for quality agricultural products to help build economic resilience.

This is one proposal in the Pacific Economic Survey 2009, engaging with the world report launched in Tonga by Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob McMullan.

The annual update of economic activity in the region was prepared by the Australian Government’s overseas aid agency, AusAID, and specialists from the Pacific and East Timor.

Amongst the proposals is that countries capitalise more fully on developing niche markets for organic and other products unique to the Pacific and East Timor.

“There are already instances where quality agricultural products from these countries are being skilfully marketed and sold for premium prices in the region,” said Mr McMullan. “Expanding this sector in an environmentally friendly way will help create employment, raise incomes and further reduce poverty.”

ACIAR has a new initiative to help Pacific island countries exploit opportunities for developing high value agricultural, forestry and fisheries products. Supply chain constraints will be addressed for a number of key products by improving links between farmers, agribusiness and other market players.

Links to media release and further information:

Mr McMullan’s media release: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/media/release.cfm?BC=Medi…
Pacific Economic Survey 2009: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/publications/pubout.cfm?I…

ACIAR’s new budget initiatives: http://aciar.gov.au/node/10778

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