Australian Funding boost for Pacific E-Commerce

PRESS RELEASE

Australian Funding boost for Pacific E-Commerce

More Pacific nations will be able to access and capitalise on e-commerce opportunities thanks to an AUD 500,000 project grant.

The grant, provided by the Australian E-commerce Aid for Trade Fund, will allow the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) to support the completion of an “E-commerce Readiness Assessment Report” for Nauru as well as a “Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap.”

National assessments are an essential starting point for strengthening the Pacific E-commerce ecosystem, but do not shed light on regional options to improve E-commerce readiness. A regional strategy serves this purpose and offers approaches that single companies or governments could not pursue in isolation.

The Regional Strategy and Roadmap builds on E-commerce assessments conducted by PIFS and its partners since 2017. These are based on a methodology developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a key partner of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative. As of today, six national assessments have been completed for Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Assessments for Niue, PNG, Fiji, and FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) are nearing completion, with support from PIFS and the EU TradeCom facility.

During the next few months PIFS will reach out to all stakeholders of the regional E-commerce architecture including governments, private sector, donor agencies, and relevant international organisations. The consultations will deliver a strategy that identifies solutions to key e-commerce challenges in the Pacific, and then drives action. A coordination and monitoring process will support and track implementation. Validation of the Pacific E-Commerce Strategy and Roadmap will begin before June 2021.

Welcoming the award of the project grant, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor, noted how “E-commerce is one of the priorities of the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Strategy 2020-2025 that was endorsed by Forum Trade Ministers earlier this year because of its potential to promote trade development. In recent months, e-commerce has become even more important given its ability to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and promote post-COVID recovery. A regional E-commerce strategy has great significance and will complement national efforts. I thank the Government of Australia for its continued support to Pacific initiatives in this area”. —ENDS  

 

Contact: Lisa Williams-Lahari, media@forumsec.org

 

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