22 Aug 2008

Concern over lack of progress in Pacific over bulk purchase of fuel

4:14 pm on 22 August 2008

There is concern in the Pacific at the lack of progress in advancing the bulk purchase of fuel - an idea that has been on table for several years.

The New Zealand Government is hoping recommendations can be readied in time for a Forum economic ministers' meeting in October.

To assist this process New Zealand is to fund a meeting of experts over the next few weeks.

The Prime Minister Helen Clark says island countries could save millions if they were able to buy in bulk.

"It's pretty astonishing to know that small island states are paying something like 70 to 140 percent more than the Singapore wholesale price for petroleum, and we think that bulk purchasing could discount that somewhat, even if only five or six percent that means millions across the Pacific saved."

Helen Clark