Radio NZ - 29 March 2019
China to launch agricultural training in Pacific
China is launching an agricultural training programme for Pacific Island countries to bring their industries in line with Chinese standards.
A meeting between China and eight Pacific states kicks off in Fiji today, where agreements on agricultural cooperation are expected to be signed.
The Cook Islands assistant minister for agriculture, Patrick Arioka, said the meeting would see more people-to-people exchanges between China and the Pacific.
"So the aim is to offer agriculture technology training and offer training courses for the Pacific Island countries and the first training course for agriculture officials is to be launched in late April of this year," he said.
In Fiji are officials from Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Cook Islands, and Niue.
The meeting is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Mr Arioa, who is in Fiji, said the countries had joined a 2020-2022 action plan on agricultural cooperation between China and the Pacific, although a strategic direction had yet to be identified.