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Kirbati Shipping to Start a Regualr Service to 4 Islands (Pacnews) - May 13, 2009

NUKUALOFA, May 14, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) -- Kiribati Shipping Services Limited (KSSL) on Wednesday formally signed an agreement with Nauru, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Wallis and Futuna to provide regular feeder shipping services to these countries. The four small island states (SIS) have been confronted with irregular shipping services since 2006. KSSL general manager Itibwinnang Aiaimoa said providing a regular shipping service to the four island countries was a profitable venture.

"We were providing services in the past but they were not regular. This was due to a lack of commitment because no formal agreement was in place to coerce the provision of services as required," Mr Aiaimoa said.

The company, which has been in existence since 1979, has two feeder ships and will provide services once a month that will be dictated by the routes the cargoes demand and the volume of the cargo to be carried across from one island state to another. Mr Aiaimoa said KSSL had been providing shipping services to SIS since 2007.

"We have been providing shipping services through Fiji since then, carrying cargo to Tuvalu, Nauru and to Kiribati. And we continued this service even though they were irregular and sometimes with very little cargo," he said.

The agreement will also mean much-needed income for KSSL. "The company is government-owned but we do not enjoy subsidies anymore. We have to earn our existence and sustain our services," he said.


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