Korea boost for Pacific trade, tourism development  

23 September 2021 – The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna and His Excellency Young-kyu Park, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea have signed a Subsidiary Agreement to boost e-commerce opportunities for Pacific businesses, in support of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The agreement paves the way for the regional “Enhancing e-commerce opportunity for Pacific MSMEs” initiative under the Republic of Korea-Pacific Islands Forum Cooperation Fund. This regional cooperation fund helps Pacific regional organisations to deliver on Forum Leaders’ priorities in support of Pacific Islands Forum Member States.  

Valued at USD900,000, the three-year project will be implemented by the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Korea Importers Association (KOIMA), and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). The project will support Pacific Island tourism operators and traders by strengthening e-commerce opportunities and business capabilities. This will occur through a grant’s facility, business networking platform, and marketing and promotion.  

 At the signing, the PIF Secretary General Henry Puna said, “this project is timely given our region’s collective efforts on the pathway to economic recovery and especially noting that the adoption of ICTs and technology has been hastened by the pandemic and this is a great way to keep up that momentum and support our local businesses.”  

 Ambassador Young-kyu Park echoed similar sentiments, “the Government of Korea supports this project because it wishes to see an increasing value of travel and trade flows between the Republic of Korea and the Pacific given our strong history of people to people and business linkages as well as our long-standing commitment to support achieving the development aspirations of PIF Member States. The Ambassador added, “in doing so, the project is expected to increase tourism and trade through increased visibility of the Pacific as a tourism destination and of its products to the Korean consumer.”  

 The Korea-Pacific Islands Forum Cooperation Fund was established in 2008 to enhance and strengthen the partnership between Korea and the Forum Island Countries. Over a decade, it has supported regional priorities by providing assistance and cooperation, particularly in addressing climate change and achieving social and economic development of the Pacific Island countries. – ENDS 

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