Pacific COVID-19 recovery work has received a USD300,000 boost thanks to funding from the Republic of Korea (ROK). The funds are from the 2020 Republic of Korea – Pacific Islands Forum Cooperation Fund for trade and tourism promotion between Forum Island Countries and the Republic of Korea.
With the bulk of the 2020 ROK-PIF Cooperation Fund going towards climate prediction work and remote sensing surveillance for Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, remaining funds are now tagged for a tourism and trade COVID-19 Recovery Project,
Tens of thousands of Pacific families have been directly and indirectly affected by the impact of COVID-19 on tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors. Forum Island countries highly dependent on tourism have lost between 30% – 40% of national incomes with Small and Medium Enterprise tourism businesses disproportionally affected.
“COVID-19 disruption across the Pacific has taken a huge economic toll across all industries in our member states, so this funding is welcome support to help pave the way for new trade and tourism opportunities between the Republic of Korea and the Forum Island Countries,” said Deputy Secretary General Dr. Filimon Manoni at the September 29 signing ceremony with HE Shinhee Cho, Ambassador for the Republic of Korea to Fiji.
The project, which will run to 2021, will include networking support for Pacific tour operators and Korean travel agents; development of a virtual trade portal; virtual meetings between Pacific exporters and Korean importers; and business development support for Pacific small and medium sized enterprises.
Project partners for this work with the Forum Secretariat include the Pacific Tourism Organisation and the Korean Importers Association.