29 Oct 2008

Cook Islands government to consider bulk purchases of fuel

11:24 am on 29 October 2008

The Cook Islands are to take measures to try and cut the charges they pay for fuel, which the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Sir Terepai Maoate says are among the highest in the Pacific.

Sir Terepai puts this down to the five companies supplying fuel.

He says they have studied what Samoa and French Polynesia are doing, and believe they are on the right track.

"We've made up our minds that the way to go is to follow what these two countries are doing. That is to minimise the importation (of fuel) to one importer. And we are going to nationalise that - similar to Samoa. And once we establish that we can give the wholesaling and retailing through the private sector."

Sir Terepai Maoate's comments came during the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting where countries exchanged ideas on how to reduce the high costs of fuel and food.