REMARKS: SG Puna opens Forum Pacific Trade Invest Advisory Board Meeting

Welcome remarks by Secretary General – Mr Henry Puna


Monday 24 April 2023

Executive Conference Room, PIF Secretariat


Colleague members of the PTI Independent Advisory Board,
Michelle Macdonald
Vani Nades
Ian Clarke
Fletcher Melvin
Director for Programmes & Initiatives Mr Zarak Khan,
Trade Commissioners and PIC Tokyo Director,
Officers of the PTI Project Management Unit

A very good morning.
It is good to see you all again.
Just under four months ago we sat down together in Sydney. Since then, the Board has met again, in February this year. Unfortunately, I was not able to join you, I was in Niue at the time undertaking High Level Consultations with Member countries.
I am happy to welcome you all to the Secretariat.
I am pleased that we are continuing to set important foundations for the work of the PTI Network. The Trade Commissioners will present on their progress so far, and we will hear of the overview of the PTI funding arrangements.
Understanding the status of the different agreements with PTI donors, will help us make informed suggestions to the Network and the four trade commission offices and the PMU in navigating challenges whilst making the most of emerging opportunities such as mutually-beneficial partnerships, and securing new markets for Members.
It is hoped that the Board’s discussions and ensuing resolution will signal to PTI donors now and in the future, that this new strategic plan sets the Network’s direction and efforts.
At the same time, I ask that we maintain clarity of sight to the Board’s noble tasking.
That tasking being:
i) to provide strategic advice to the PTI Network and to the Office of the Secretary General; and
ii) assuring a prudential and ethical base to the Network’s conduct and activities, having regard to the relevant interests of its stakeholders and clients.
Our purpose is the establishment of a system that supports PTI’s performance. The system will be a policy-based, financial management and risk governance system.
It is that chicken-egg paradox.
We want to signal that PTI is a sound investment achieveing sustainable and far-reaching outcomes across our region.
However, we also have to ensure that PTI systems and processes inspire confidence through the sound management of its resources. This will provide the necessary assurance to our Members, donors and development partners who support the operations of these trade commission offices, that PTI is delivering on its value proposition and that it is well-governed.
The agenda item on IPSAS transition represents this quite well.
My office will support PTI to ensure it is on the strongest possible administrative footing.
Before I finish, just a note. I may not be able to stay with you for the full discussions. I know it will be a very productive meeting and I will catch up with the Director and his Team for an account of how it went.
I look forward to the discussions.
Thank you.–ENDS




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