The Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP)



What is the Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP)?

The Pacific Integration Technical Assistance Project (PITAP) aims to improve the capacity of Pacific Island Countries to trade and increase exports and investments.

PITAP is a project component of the Strengthening Pacific Economic Integration through Trade programme.

How does it work?

PITAP is a project component of the wider Strengthening Pacific Economic Integration through Trade (SPEITT) programme. PITAP is implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) under a joint management mode and through a Contribution Agreement between PIFS and the European Union (EU). PITAP contributes towards the overall SPEITT objective to improve economic integration of Pacific members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (PACP) states. This is done by strengthening national systems and institutional frameworks to: develop trade capacity; increase private sector competitiveness and increase international market access for Pacific Island products and services.

Why is PITAP important?

PITAP aims to improve trade policy outcomes by building technical capacity. It does this by increasing: private sector engagement in trade policy processes; exports of Pacific island products and services and investment in the region.

Who implements and funds PITAP?

The PITAP is implemented by PIFS and is financed by the EU under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The PITAP Contribution Agreement was signed in April 2011 and implementation began thereafter. In December 2013 additional funds were allocated to PITAP by the EU bringing the overall budget to €13.9 million. In addition the implementation period for the project was extended from four to six years (2011 – 2016).

Partnership and engagement between PIFS, OCTA and MSG Secretariat

Given the cross-cutting nature of trade agreements and negotiations, the Forum Secretariat, the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Secretariat have established joint initiatives under PITAP to support the Members engage in the various trade related initiatives. These activities are being implemented in a coordinated manner to avoid duplication, and builds on the strengths of each agency. This partnership complements efforts in building and strengthening PACP states’ capacity in trade policy matters and implementation of trade agreements in the region.

How is this partnership implemented?

OCTA and MSG Secretariat are being provided €1,750,000 each under PITAP to support their engagement in the various trade-related initiatives from 2014 to 2016. An agreement is in place between PIFS and OCTA, and between PIFS and MSG Secretariat with detailed terms of reference outlining actions to implement the various components of PITAP.

What are the Key Result Areas (KRAs) and specific activities of PITAP?

PITAP comprises of a number of activities that deliver on its four KRAs:

KRA 1              Negotiation and implementation of specific regional and multilateral trade agreements.

Activity 1a  Promote regional trade integration by finalising and fully implementing the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA).

Activity 1b Promote regional trade integration by strengthening the MSG Trade Agreement (MSGTA).

Activity 1c  Promote regional trade integration by contributing to the finalisation and implementation of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.

Activity 2    Promote global trade between PACP states and EU by assisting them to negotiate and implement the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Activity 3    Promote global trade integration by increasing PACP states’ participation in the World Trade Organisation, and providing support to Forum Island Countries through the activities of the PIFS Geneva Office.

KRA 2              Improved trade policy frameworks developed and adopted by PACP states.

Activity 4    Assist PACP states to formulate Trade Policy Frameworks and mainstream trade into national development strategies.

KRA 3              Improved ability of the private sector to engage in the process of trade policy development and to access export opportunities from implemented trade agreements.

Activity 5    Build capacity of the private sector to participate in the development of national trade policy frameworks and trade negotiations. This is achieved through direct support to the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation.

Activity 6    Build the capacity of exporters operating under new trade frameworks and develop greater capacity to promote trade and investment in PACP states.

KRA 4              Improved coordination and engagement between PIFS, national and regional stakeholders and development partners to increase Aid for Trade and improve institutional capacity.

Activity 7a  Improve coordination and engagement to increase Aid for Trade and effectively implement EDF projects and related activities.

Activity 7b      Strengthening of PIFS institutional capacity and engagement with Non-State Actors and on climate change financing.


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