In the lead-up to the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum met a World Bank delegation in Suva to discuss a wide-range of opportunities in development cooperation and outline Fiji’s leadership priorities for its COP23 Presidency.
The 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF will be held in Washington D.C. from 21-23 April.
The World Bank delegation was led by Pacific Islands Country Director Mr. Michel Kerf and included Portfolio and Operations Manager for the Pacific Islands Ms. Mona Sur, Lead Economist and Program Leader Mr. Robert Utz, South Pacific Resident Representative Mr. Lasse Melgaard, Senior Economist Ms. Mizuho Kida and Liaison Officer Mr. Saia Faletau. The International Finance Corporation was also represented at the meeting by Pacific Country Manager Mr. Tom Jacobs.
At the meeting, the World Bank assured the organisation of a side event at the 2017 Spring Meetings dedicated to Fiji’s COP23 Presidency. The event would allow Fiji to identify key areas where the World Bank could assist to advance Fiji’s presidential agenda at COP23.
The delegation also provided an update on the opening of the World Bank Regional Office in Suva, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2018.
The meeting covered potential cooperation between Fiji and the World Bank to reduce emissions in Fiji’s transportation sector by increasing access to green transportation options, and also included a broad overview of strategies to attract private sector investment to fund climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The discussions also covered the ongoing work between Fiji and the World Bank to develop private partnerships to increase access to affordable housing and healthcare for the Fijian people. For the housing sector, the Attorney-General stressed the need to expand efforts to not only boost home ownership, but also reduce the costs of public rentals in Fiji.
Following the meeting, the Attorney-General emphasised the importance of the Fijian Government’s continued engagement with the World Bank to bring developments into the lives of the Fijian people, and said he looked forward to building on the day’s discussions at the Spring Meetings later in the month.