Delivered by H.E Mr. Jim Armistead, Chair of the Forum Trade Officials Meeting
at the Forum Trade Officials Meeting
4 October 2023, Suva. Fiji.
Mr.Esala Nayasi, PIFS Deputy Secretary General;
Representatives of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific;
Representatives of Technical Agencies and Development Partners;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this Forum Trade Officials Meeting (FTOM). I wish to convey my government’s appreciation to the Government of Fiji and Permanent Secretary for Trade, Mr Shaheen Ali and his team for assisting the Secretariat in advancing our regional trade work programme over the past 3 years.
Colleagues, we will hear from the Secretariat on an overview of global and regional trade and investment landscape post COVID-19 pandemic, and the global trade uncertainty caused by the ongoing Ukraine war. For that reason, you are invited to provide your national perspective on how trade and investment is progressing, taking into account challenges that most of our economies still face.
The regional supply chain remains a critical agenda that this meeting could consider a regional approach to counter this matter.
I note that the focus of most of our economies for the coming years is to regain the lost growth opportunities foregone during the pandemic using the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy 2020-2025 as a tool to progress our aid for trade needs.
It is crucial for increasing competitiveness and strengthening resilience in our economies against future shocks to facilitate greater market access opportunities and be attractive destination for investments in the region.
Esteemed colleagues, we have a tight schedule ahead of us, and I seek your cooperation in considering these agendas together and agree on the set of recommendations for our Ministers consideration.
With these few remarks, I wish you fruitful deliberations.