5 Jul 2004

Pacific trade office opens in Geneva with EU help

3:14 pm on 5 July 2004

A representative of the Pacific Islands Forum has flown to Geneva, after the opening of a trade office in the Swiss city last week.

Bill Mansfield of New Zealand's foreign ministry will be one of the first officials to see the European-Union-funded, office up and running.

The office is expected to give Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands more sway, in talks held by the World Trade Organisation.

It's thought Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, who're observers at the WTO, will now also be better placed, to take part in global trade talks.

Talks aimed at finding economic partnerships between the European Union and Pacific Island countries are to be held in Suva in September.