Introducing the Initiative
The Pacific E-commerce Initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports Forum Island Countries to engage in digital trade, so as to promote sustainable growth and poverty eradication. In line with the Forum mandate, the initiative focuses on the regional dimension of E-commerce, thus complementing the valuable work being undertaken at country level.
E-commerce is one of the four priorities of the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Strategy 2020-2025, noting its potential to narrow distances and trade costs, and to promote diversification of Pacific economies.
In this COVID-19 era, digital trade has become even more important, given its ability to sustain economic activity whilst preserving social distancing. Even as lockdowns ease and border closures are lifted, online buying and selling continues to increase and remains well-above pre-pandemic levels, thus signalling a permanent change in habits. It is therefore essential that Pacific businesses are well-equipped to face this new digital era to avoid the risk of falling behind.
It is against this background that Forum Islands Countries, development agencies, and donor partners joined forces to improve digital trade readiness in the Pacific. At a 2017 PIFS-UNCTAD-WTO Pacific E-commerce workshop, partners concurred on the need to lay solid analytical and policy foundations as a precondition to undertake truly transformative actions. To support this determination, PIFS and its partners have developed national and regional E-commerce Assessments and developed a regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap. The latter was endorsed by Forum Trade Ministers in 2021 and outlines the Pacific consensus on the priority regional measures to increase digital trade readiness.
Since 2022, focus has shifted on implementation, which is being coordinated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) though its Pacific E-commerce Unit.
Diagnostic and strategic reports produced by the partners of the Pacific E-commerce Initiatives are included in the table below. A Pacific E-commerce Portal has been developed, which will provide extensive information on all the activities aimed improving regional e-trade readiness.
|Federated States of Micronesia (2020)||Samoa (2017)|
|Fiji (2020)||Solomon Islands (2018)|
|Kiribati (2019)||Tonga (2019)|
|Nauru (2021)||Tuvalu (2019)|
|Niue (2020)||Vanuatu (2018)|
|Papua New Guinea (2020)|
|Tonga (2021)||Vanuatu (2022)|
|Samoa (2022)||Solomon Islands (2022)|
Regional Assessments and Strategies
|Regional E-Commerce Assessment (2020)||Regional E-Commerce Strategy-Roadmap (2021)|