Launch of the Asia-Pacific Forum

The Pacific Island States’ geopolitical situation, characterised by insularity and periphery, strongly conditions their reality as well as their position in the international economy, affecting the capacity of many of these island states to deliver on the expectations for socio-economic development of their citizens, especially in turbulent financial times.

The recent Asian boom has created a lot of opportunities to island nations of the Pacific who now see their opportunity for growth coming from the Asia Pacific Rim economies and in that context are seeking to broaden their contact with Asia Pacific Rim leaders and create sustainable growth and development strategy for the future.

Within this context, the Government of French Polynesia and the Club de Madrid, with the support of Australian businessman and philanthropist, Clive Palmer, have joined forces to convene this day and a half Forum to identify, and discuss main strategies for the promotion of socio-economic development and growth in the Pacific Islands.

The Asia Pacific Forum’ will be held in the Tahitian capital, Papeete, on 5 – 6 July 2012, gathering many of the region’s most experienced and inspirational political and business leaders, policy makers and experts, including various Members of the Club de Madrid: Wim Kok, Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1994 – 2002) and Club de Madrid’s President; the Rt. Hon. Dame Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1997 – 1999) and Vice-President of the Club de Madrid, Chandrika Kumaratunga, President of Sri Lanka (1994 – 2005); Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile (2000 – 2006), Cassam Uteem, President of Mauritius (1992 – 2002), among others.

French Polynesian President, the Honourable Oscar Temaru, welcomed the announcement made today by The Rt. Hon. Dame Jenny Shipley – saying “Tahiti will extend a warm welcome to the former leaders for this very significant event for the people of French Polynesia” Mr Temaru said. It will be important as well for the people of the rest of Asia-Pacific region.

Temaru also added that “our country is strategically positioned in the emerging Asia Pacific and we see the upcoming forum as a unique opportunity to focus the limelight on the region’s strategic challenges as well as a very positive event for further stimulating our tourism sector an essential catalyst for domestic growth and greater employment prospects for our people.”

The Rt. Hon. Dame Jenny Shipley added that the shift of economic power towards the Asia Pacific would create enormous opportunities for countries such as French Polynesia:

“Hosting this major forum in Papeete is both significant and timely, given the growing shift in economic power towards the Asia Pacific region.”

Prime Minister Shipley also noted that “The Club de Madrid greatly values the support increasingly received for its work in fostering democratic values and democratic leadership from strategic business partners worldwide to analyse the socio-economic and political challenges being faced by our region.”