(Koror, Palau) A Blue Pacific built on self-generated renewable energies and stronger partnerships with Governments and the private sector were among the recommendations presented by the private sector in their Joint Dialogue with Economic Ministers, and Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations at the 21st Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in Koror, Palau.
The Joint Dialogue held in the margins of the annual Forum Economic Ministers Meeting highlighted a number of regional issues pertinent to the private sector, including a call for the development and management of a single regional tender portal for the advertisement of all Governments’ tenders across the region. The need for affordable insurance products for micro and small businesses and household was also presented for Economic Ministers consideration.
Speaking for his delegation, Stephen Lyons, the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce chair and board member of Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisations (PIPSO) said affordable renewable energy remained a key cost issue for the private sector, despite increasing power generation through local renewable means.
On the issue of renewable energy, the private sector called on Economic Ministers to support a regional study on investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector to encourage local investments and called for a common vision for the region to strive toward becoming 100% reliable on self-generated renewable energies recognising the commitments by Governments to date.
“A study on investment opportunities in power generation to inform a regional strategy for private sector investment in this important sector is in our view necessary, so as to encourage and drive small scale local investments in innovative transformational energy products,” Mr Lyons said.
Following the recognition by the Forum Economic Ministers of the value of a regional hub for all Pacific Governments Tenders to effect broader participation by local businesses in public procurement, a regional repository of all tenders in the Pacific region could be established, with input from relevant stakeholders.
The private sector called for Pacific governments to consider further investment in the private sector to create better partnership for economic growth and development.