In response to limited national capacities and an increasingly complex international environment, the focus of the Programme is to increase understanding of the challenges facing the region and use its expertise to assist Members in the development of appropriate national, sub-regional and regional interventions. In addition, the Programme partners with other development agencies to facilitate assistance on economic and trade measures to Members where no internal capacity exists within the Programme.
In order to respond effectively to the challenges posed by globalisation, the Programme supports the direct participation of Forum island countries in the global rule setting environment, for example, the WTO in Geneva and other inter-governmental organisations (IGOs).
The Programme assists Member states to improve their investment environments, enhance the competitiveness of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) and promote the flow of finance to new and existing businesses. The Programme provides policy and technical support aimed at improving public and private partnerships through collaboration with private sector organisations, including the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), in economic development, trade and investment areas.
Some Forum Island Countries have limited national capacity to gather and disseminate data and information pertaining to their commercial, trade and investment interests. The Programme, through the Forum Trade Offices (FTOs), provides advice and support in order to stimulate trade, regionally and internationally, whilst looking to attract foreign investment into Forum Island Countries.