5 Sep 2017

Polynesia Leaders Group now biggest within Forum

2:00 pm on 5 September 2017

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says the entry of Wallis and Futuna in the Polynesian Leaders Group makes it the largest sub-group in the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi.

The Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

He told media this means more cooperation in all areas of development between Polynesian countries.

Other members of the PLG are French Polynesia, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa and Tokelau, while Easter Island and Hawai'i attend as observers.

One area where countries will start cooperating is the proposed regional submarine cable, Manatua, which is being driven by Samoa.

The cable aims to position Polynesia as a key player in the digital economy with fast and reliable connectivity.

With approximately 50 terabyte capacity the cost would be high for an individual country doing it alone.

But costs would be greatly reduced if shared among what would be the Polynesian Cable Network.

Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, French Polynesia, Tokelau, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna have already committed to the project.

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