Esala Nayasi, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
Forum Economic Officials Meeting, PIF HQ – Suva, Fiji
Secretary Garth Henderson, Chair of the Forum Economic Officials Meeting;
Excellencies and Senior Economic Officials of our Forum Member States;
Representatives of our CROP agencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Bula vinaka to you all and a warm welcome to the Secretariat for this session of the Forum
Economic Officials Meeting.
2. Allow me to also join the Chair in thanking the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Management of the Government of Vanuatu for its leadership and chairing of the Forum Economic
Officials meeting over the past year.
3. On that same note, allow me to also congratulate Secretary Henderson on his assumption
of the Chair and I and the team here at the Secretariat look forward to working with you over the
next year to progress the decisions of our Forum Economic Ministers.
4. Excellencies and Senior Officials, we have a comprehensive agenda before us.
5. I am pleased that through our discussions yesterday, we have considered the concerns and
issues that Members want the Secretariat to take note of, moving forward. As discussed yesterday,
there is a need for us to rationalise, prioritise and streamline our deliverables.
6. We have heard the concerns on the proliferation of regional strategies and frameworks and
the need to focus on implementation of existing policies. We have also discussed the need to see
the clear alignment between national development plans and regional policies, including the
regional governance framework which we hope the Review of the Regional Architecture will
7. We take on board the capacity constraints at national level, in particular in our Smaller
Island States. Further, the need to strengthen engagement at the national level to ensure stronger
visibility and awareness of the 2050 Strategy in-country.
8. Please be reassured that these issues will be taken into account in the shaping of the
Implementation Plan of the 2050 Strategy, the Review of the Regional Architecture, the Pacific
Roadmap for Economic Development and other regional policies.
9. For us as a Secretariat, these are important discussions for us to take note of in the
formulation of our Strategic Plan.
10. Indeed, your discussions today provide a platform to shape some of the key initiatives
currently being progressed by the region. These are your collective policies and mechanisms. Its
effectiveness will depend on how we can work together to shape and develop these instruments in
a manner that will best address your needs. I am hopeful that we will use this meeting today as an
opportunity for a robust exchange on these key initiatives.
11. As already alluded too by the Chair, we are at an unprecedented time in our history and we
leverage an unprecedented amount of strategic interest. It is absolutely vital that we have the right
instruments and mechanisms in place to support us in capitalising on this strategic interest to
deliver for our people. As a collective, we can explore innovative solutions and opportunities that
will drive positive change and improve the overall well-being of our Pacific peoples.
12. As we look further into the future, we must not lose sight of the challenges that confront
us today. Rather they should frame how best we can build resilient and stronger economies into
13. Excellencies, Senior Officials, I encourage you all to proactively participate and engage in
the discussions today, so that we develop a solid set of recommendations for our Ministers
consideration in the coming days.
14. On this note, I wish you all successful deliberations and I look forward to the outcomes of