1 Jun 2006

Pacific leaders against Sydney as bank location

3:14 pm on 1 June 2006

Pacific delegates at an international conference in Port Moresby are objecting to plans to locate the regional office of a EU-funded investment bank in Sydney.

African, Caribbean and Pacific ministers and officials are meeting European Union officials in the Papua New Guinea capital to discuss a range of trade and development issues.

At the close of their session yesterday, ACP delegates expressed opposition to locating the regional offices of the European Investment Bank in Sydney and in Martinique in the Caribbean.

The ACP Secretariat secretary-general, Sir John Kaputin, says the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels had told the bank's board Australia and Martinique are unacceptable as neither country is a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement between ACP-EU nations signed in 2000.

The bank's board cited a lack of logistics and international transport links in Pacific Island and Caribbean states.