INDONESIA has pledged $36.8million ($US20m) to the Pacific Islands Development Forum, affirming its commitment to broaden its network of co-operation in mitigating the impact of climate change.
Making the announcement on Denarau yesterday, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said countries such as Indonesia and Pacific Island states were prone to natural disasters.
"Therefore, strengthening cooperation in disaster mitigation and management is important," he said.
"In the next five years, and in our collective efforts to effectively respond to aforementioned common challenges, Indonesia will offer various capacity building programs.
"We intend to allocate a modest funding of $US20m for the Pacific Island countries."
He said Indonesia was committed to boost connectivity with the South Pacific region to overcome the challenge of distance.
"Better connectivity will help enhance interaction among our people.
"Therefore, Indonesia had involved Pacific Island countries in the discussion of connectivity within APEC during Indonesia's chairmanship last year."
He also expressed commitment to enlarge economic ties with PIDF countries in the areas of trade and investment.
"Our two-way trade in 2013 was $US318m ($F574m)," he said.
"We can do much better than that as there remain many untapped potentials.
"We should aim to triple that amount to $US1billion ($F1.8b) in the coming years and of course, we should provide special prominence to our respective small and medium enterprises."