• Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Minister Don McKinnon today announced 16 training and business grants to support private sector development in the Pacific Islands. The grants, totalling $360,000, are being made under the Pacific Islands Investment and Development Scheme (PIIDS), part of New Zealand's Overseas Aid programme, and cover private sector activities in eight countries.

"PIIDS promotes more effective business and training linkages between the New Zealand private sector and counterpart private sectors of our South Pacific neighbours. As a result of a recent review of the scheme, a number of changes have been made to its operation. These will facilitate access to a better range of advice when South Pacific countries are formulating business plans", Mr McKinnon noted.

PIIDS has now been merged with the former South Pacific Development Assistance Facility (SPDAF). Joint venture equity grants are now to be subject to competitive bidding.

The 16 grants are made from a record 40 proposals submitted for competitive assessment. Specific attention has been given to developmental value, planing, comercial viability and the likely long-term benefits for the recipient country.

Proposals for the next round of PIIDS grants should be sent to the Development Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by 28 February 1997.