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Indonesian president arrives

Repeka Nasiko
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

INDONESIAN president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived last night and was welcomed by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama at the Nadi International Airport for the official opening of the second Pacific Islands Development Forum on Denarau.

Mr Yudhoyono arrived with the First Lady, Kristiani Herawati, and a delegation of State officials.

The Indonesian president's attendance has been hailed as a step forward for positive development for Pacific island countries.

"President Yudhoyono's visit marks a historic moment for Fiji and for the region. His presence here shows the importance of the PIDF — the Pacific's grand coalition of regional governments, civil society organisations and the private sector," he said.

The Vice-President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Alik L Alik, and Kazakhstan ambassador at large, Barlybay Sadykov, have arrived in the country.

The Prime Minister of Tonga, Lord SialeAtaongo Tuivakano, arrives this evening and the President for Nauru, Baron Divavesi Waqa and senior officials from French Polynesia and Solomon Islands are expected to arrive tomorrow.

Delegates from PIDF member countries and invited dignitaries have also arrived for the three-day meeting held at Sheraton Fiji Resort and Spa.

According to the Ministry of Information, about 11 memorandums of understanding will be signed during the meeting.

Chaired by Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama, delegates will discuss issues regarding the Pacific Green Growth Framework with a more focused presentation from Fiji's National Development and Statistics Department on restoring the balance in development that is sustainable for the future.

A plenary discussion is also planned for today in which the objectives of the talks will focus on reviewing the enabling of environments and opportunities for genuine partnerships that small microenterprises will require for green growth and what governments can provide for SMEs to overcome the main barriers.

Also up for discussion are policies that will bring about social inclusive green growth and the role of development partners in the process.

The PIDF Summit officially opens tomorrow.

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