President of Nauru and Minister for Nauru Port Authority Russ Kun said the role of the CPSC is “extremely important for the member countries with a mandate that will ensure a broad social and economic outcome for our island nation and its people… specially addresses the provision of regular, predictable shipping services that are sustainable and with affordable shipping rates”.
He made the comment at the Annual General Meeting of the SPSC in Nadi, Fiji.
President Kun said shipping services to the islands of the Central Pacific are “our lifeline by providing trade, food security, and employment opportunities” and “is a key priority for the region and affordable shipping services have been a long-term dream of the people of the Pacific”.
He said shipping companies argue that the distance between island states was the cause of constantly rising sea freight rates, and low cargo volumes challenged the economies of scale, making it difficult for shipping companies to provide regular and affordable shipping services.
President Kun highlighted an unfortunate experience for Nauru in 2020 which left Nauru in crisis and serious food shortage which resulted in the creation of the Nauru Shipping Line to address Nauru’s shipping needs.
“Regrettably, I am sorry to inform you that the [Nauru] shipping line did not get much support from the CPSC.”
The meeting concluded yesterday with an agreement on a number of issues addressing better shipping services.
The AGM was chaired by President Kun and was attended by CPSC commissioners Tekeeua Tarati, Kiribati Minister of Information, Communication & Transport; Kessai H. Note, Marshall Islands Minister of Transportation, Communications & Information Technology; Nielu Meisake, Tuvalu Minister of Transport, Energy & Tourism; and Lauriane Tatau-Vergé, Wallis and Futuna President of the Commission on Regional Cooperation, Economic Development and Tourism.
A statement said the commissioners signed the outcomes document at the closing dinner, 9 March.
It encouraged CPSC members to strictly enforce the rule that only holders of a valid CPSC licence are allowed to provide shipping service for international commercial cargo to their respective countries and territories.
The NSL provides a Suva to Nauru service with its one ship with a 350 20-foot container capacity. There are plans to acquire a second ship of 700 20-foot container capacity to service Brisbane to the Central Pacific.
Nauru is a proud member of the CPSC and supports the growth of regional shipping and aims to encourage and promote the economical, reliable, safe, and coordinated shipping services to the Central Pacific, President Kun said.
Wallis & Futuna will host the next CPSC meeting in July 2024.
Shipping service providers to the CPSC region, Swire, Neptune Pacific Direct Line, Kyowa Line, NYK Bulk and Project (NBP), and Gold Rock Investment Ltd., each had a session with the technical team on Wednesday 8 March for direct discussions on services and challenges of the companies but especially of the member countries.
Photo credit GIO