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MSG Trade and Economic Meetings in Fiji

The meetings are being held at the Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, Fiji. 

Senior officials and representatives from Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will be in attendance as part of talks towards a new and more comprehensive trade agreement - MSGTA3 – that will now include Trade in Services, and new chapters such as Labour Mobility, Investment, and Telecommunications. 

MSG Leaders have directed that a draft legal text of the trade agreement must be ready by November 2015.

The meetings include: 

Scientists call for regional coordination of seabed mining

Papua New Guinea is closest to having deep water mining begin in the Bismarck Sea, while the Cook Islands last week opened up bidding for exploratory licences.

But a principal scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Malcolm Clark, says scientists working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community are pushing for more collaboration among Pacific Island countries.

Australia, PNG to seek Kokoda heritage listing

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said this would help to build tourism and economic development opportunities for local people and provide a high level of protection for the natural and cultural values of the area.

Hunt, who visited the Kokoda Track with PNG environment minister John Pundari on Monday, said the listing was an important objective under the Kokoda Initiative, launched in 2008 to protect and manage this important area.

Meanwhile, Australia is helping fund a floating medical training and healthcare ship for remote coastal villages in Papua New Guinea.

Fiji re-engages on Forum senior officials level

A Fiji Government delegation attended the Forum's Officials Committee meeting which has been setting the agenda for the leaders' summit next month in Papua New Guinea.

Fiji was suspended from the Forum in 2009 for refusing to return to democracy.

Last year it was re-admitted after the elections but the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has been stressing he will not attend the summit in Port Moresby.

FBC News reports the roving Pacific Ambassador Litia Mawi saying the re-engagement is strategic to ensure Fiji's position on regional issues is heard.

PNG checks for more ‘slaves’ on seized ship

The ship was seized on July 27 just off Daru Island, the administrative centre for Western Province on the PNG side of international border in the Torres Strait.

The 80-meter Blissful Reefer is due in the capital Port Moresby today from Daru, where the men will be interviewed with IOM interpreters.

“There were initially eight victims of trafficking that we identified, they are now under IOM care in Port Moresby,” said IOM country director George Gerouriou from Daru. 

PNG games rated the best Pacific Games

The facilities were classed as world class and there was a rush to finish them. There were security concerns which the Papua New Guinea Government quashed by having the police and military on the streets.

In Fiji, sporting bodies were getting their best together.

According to FASANOC president Joe Rodan, the Pacific Games was almost equivalent to the Olympic Games for some sports and for some island nations as well.

This was to be my first trip to Papua New Guinea, the "Land of the Unexpected" and believe me I was a bit anxious.

Human trafficking high in Marshalls, PNG and Solomons

The country ranks the worst out of all island Pacific nations in the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2015.

The Marshall Islands' poor record revolves around the capital Majuro's role as a port of call for foreign fishing and transhipping vessels.

It says Marshall Islands girls are recruited by foreign business owners to engage in prostitution with crew members of the vessels.

It also says some Chinese women are recruited with promises of legitimate work and forced into prostitution after paying large recruitment fees.

PNG win bronze in men's soccer

PNG took a 1-0 lead after the 8th minute of play when Patrick Aisa powered a kick into the nets.

PNG held on to the lead going into half time.

Fiji came out stronger in the second half and dominated possession early on in the game.

This resulted in the equalizer in the 53rd minute through Tony Tuivuna.

The game looked to be going towards a draw with three minutes extra time given.

PNG down Tonga by 8 wickets

Tonga batted first with Nikolasi Moala (14) and Aloisio Pau’u (22) putting on a solid opening partnership of 36.

But good bowling from PNG’s Alei Nao had the pair dismissed.

The rest of the Tongan batters did not put up much of a fight as the next five wickets fell for 18 runs.

Tail ender Lea Tenisi chipped in late in the innings with 12 runs.

Tonga was all bowled out for a measly 83.

Jason Kila was the best of the PNG bowlers picking up 3/10.

PNG loses to Tahiti in men’s volleyball

The bronze medal holders lost to silver medallist Tahiti 3-0 in a close encounter this evening at the BSP Arena.

The Tahitians were too strong and surprised the sell-out crowd as they put on a great show.

The arena was filled to capacity with fans supporting the home team but they were  disappointed after Tahiti stomped over PNG in the first set 25-22.

The crowd kept chanting and cheering the home team on as the pressure was applied in the second set.