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Cook Islands Agree To Tax Information Exchange

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Cook Islands Agree To Tax Information Exchange

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Cook Islands Prime Minister Jim Marurai signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement between their two countries as part of international efforts to strengthen cooperation in this area.

Mr Key met with Mr Marurai in Rarotonga today on the final leg of his four-country Pacific visit.

Mr Key and Mr Marurai also agreed to an annual Joint Ministerial Forum that will further strengthen the special relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand. "Regular high-level political engagement between our two countries will play an important role in assisting the Cook Islands in developing its economy and also reflects the strong Realm relationship that underpins our partnership."

Mr Key highlighted New Zealand's increased official development assistance funding to the Cook Islands which will increase from $11 million to $14 million this year.

"This assistance, delivered through NZAID, will focus on support for activities which contribute to sustainable economic development.

"A vibrant and well-supported private sector is an essential building block for growth. We want to support initiatives that encourage small business development, entrepreneurship and investment.

"I've also discussed New Zealand's desire to increase funding for infrastructure support. We are particularly interested in building on assistance for the management of lagoon eco-systems to preserve them for the enjoyment of local communities and overseas tourists alike.

"Tourism is the key foreign exchange earner for the Cook Islands economy and continued strength in this sector is dependent on keeping important air routes open.

"New Zealand has agreed to support the Cook Islands Government's decision to underwrite any loss on Air New Zealand's weekly Los Angeles-Rarotonga-Auckland route, with a capped $1 million contribution from the aid programme for the current financial year."

New Zealand's bilateral aid programme with the Cook Islands will increase to $14 million in 2009/10 and 2010/11, then $17 million in 2011/12.

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