Three Pacific Islands Forum countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the bulk procurement of fuel.
Nauru, Tuvalu and the Cook Islands have committed to the Pacific Petroleum project.
Other Forum countries are expected to sign up after consulting their governments.
Don Wiseman reports from the just-completed Forum Economic Ministers Meeting, or FEMM, in Vanuatu.
"The idea of the bulk purchasing of fuel to save small island states money has been on the agenda of Pacific meetings for years but it's become a more vital topic with the surge in prices this year. Getting commitment, if only from three, is a significant breakthrough for a regional initiative. Also at the FEMM, progress was made on the Pacific Regional Audit Initiative which aims to bring uniformly high standards throughout the region. The Ministers say there's much more potential for Pacific countries to expand their domestic food production to counter the high cost of imports. They say also that countries have to maintain the reforms and adjustments they've put in place despite some easing of food and energy prices. In their action plan, the ministers also point out there's a need for mitigation measures to cope with the global economic crisis. They've asked donors to consider additional support for countries under particular stress."
Don Wiseman reporting from Port Vila.