PIFS HQ, Suva, Nov 20, 2020 – Forum Senior Trade Officials today discussed Pacific priorities for trade and investment promotion, particularly four key areas to assist with economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.
Over the coming months the Forum’s work programme will focus on e-commerce, quality infrastructure, regional Aid-for-Trade support, Kava and labour mobility. Over 60 officials from 17 Forum nations participated in the virtual briefing with the Forum Secretariat and discussed these priorities.
Pacific Islands Forum Deputy-Secretary General, Dr. Filimon Manoni noted “Since the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting (FTMM) in February this year, COVID-19 has created economic turmoil in most Forum member countries. COVID-19 has magnified existing challenges and created new ones.
“There are also new opportunities for Pacific economies. In response we must prioritise our trade work. Today’s discussions are focused on four priorities for economic recovery, and how our region can deliver on these priorities in a cooperative and sustainable way” commented Dr Manoni.
E-Commerce has great potential to diversify Pacific economies and is key to post COVID economic recovery. Officials also considered the economic benefits from strengthening infrastructure to raising public health safety standards, how to improve labour mobility and the financial flows it encourages, and how to access Aid-for-Trade support.
Dr. Manoni acknowledged the ongoing financial support and technical assistance provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), The European Union (EU), The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), and the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) towards the implementation of the trade work programme for the Pacific Region.–ENDS