Inclusiveness key to trade led growth

Consultations on inclusive solutions for growth has brought together a wide range of stakeholders including parliamentarians, private sector, civil society representatives, senior officials, and policy makers from the region for a ‘Comprehensive Consultations on Pacific Trade’ from 20-21 August at the Shangri-La Fijian Hotel in Sigatoka, Fiji.

“In my visits to Forum member countries and in my meetings with Leaders, economic development remains uppermost. And our Leaders have consistently agreed on the fundamental contribution of trade to economic growth,” says Dame Meg Taylor, PIFS Secretary General.

Pacific Leaders have led the way in instituting an inclusive Framework for Pacific Regionalism through which every individual and community from the Pacific have been able to voice what they think should be the priorities Leaders need to focus on.

“Regional integration is not an end in itself, but rather a tool for enhancing sustainable economic growth and fostering inclusion – within and between member countries – and it remains a high priority for the Pacific region. This includes ensuring that our women, our youth and our actors in the informal sectors are part of inclusive solutions for growth,” Dame Meg Taylor said.

“Opportunities available for inter-regional trade and South-South trade are significant, and Pacific Island traders are encouraged to pursue such trade.”

The consultations will focus on how the Pacific region can leverage the engagement of the private sector in economic development in preparation for the upcoming joint gathering of Forum Economic Ministers, Trade Ministers and the Private Sector in the Cook Islands in October.

“The Secretariat welcomes the complementary presentations and dialogue that will ensue during this two-day consultation on the range of trade initiatives that are being pursued in the region. Participants are encouraged to suggest options that will guide trade-related policies for positive development impact,” Dame Meg Taylor said.



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The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) have organised a series of meetings this week to introduce specific topics to engender an interactive dialogue and identification of prioritised regional trade solutions to help address the Pacific Island countries’ development needs.

Trade and customs officials and private sector representatives had highlighted the high trade costs for Pacific economies. The WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement was recognised as a significant opportunity to improve the speed and efficiency of border procedures, thereby reducing trade costs and enhancing participation of Small and Medium Business Enterprises.

The ‘Pacific Islands-U.S. Regional Workshop on Trade, Investment and Private Sector Development’ highlighted the trade and investment opportunities in the U.S market, and identified challenges and opportunities in accessing U.S market, and attracting U.S. investments and increasing Pacific exports.

Participants of the ‘Comprehensive Consultations on Pacific Trade’ will also have an interactive dialogue on the structure of the existing regional trade agreements such as the PICTA, PACER Plus and the EPA.

The Commonwealth Guide on Trade Policy for Pacific Parliamentarians will also be launched today.

The consultation is organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat with support from the WTO, the World Bank Group, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the European Union.

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