Pacific E-commerce Initiative

The rapid advancement of technology is propelling our world into a digital era  at a much faster pace than we anticipated. This transformative shift extends to the realm of trade: e-commerce and digital transactions offer swifter, more cost-effective, and potentially more environmentally sustainable alternatives to traditional physical trade. Embracing this digital revolution, the Pacific E-commerce Initiative stands out as our collective regional response to securing a digital future for our region.

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    In 2018, the Pacific E-commerce Initiative was endorsed by Forum Trade Officials. In 2021, the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap (Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy) was endorsed by Forum Trade Ministers.

    The Pacific E-commerce Initiative sits under the ‘Electronic Commerce’ thematic area of the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy 2020-2025, and the ‘Resources and Economic Development’ and ‘Technology and Connectivity’ thematic area of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent Implementation Plan.

    E-commerce refers to companies and individuals that buy and sell goods and services over the internet.

    For Forum Members, e-commerce has the potential to reduce business costs, integrate rural and urban markets, mitigate the tyranny of distance from regional and international markets, generate opportunities for micro, small and medium sized enterprises, engage women and youth entrepreneurs, reduce the digital divide, and promote economic diversification, including in new sectors such as services.

    The Pacific E-commerce Initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports Forum Members engage in e-commerce,  promote trade development, and sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic growth.

    The Secretariat’s E-commerce Unit coordinates the implementation of Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy, and implements some of its recommendations.


    The Secretariat’s E-commerce Unit provides a range of regional products that monitor, coordinate and provide strategic oversight over the implementation of the Pacific E-commerce Strategy, including the:

    • Pacific E-commerce Portal: A central hub for Pacific e-commerce information and resources, including reports, toolkits, courses, and news.
    • Pacific E-commerce Committee and Sub-committees: These platforms comprise stakeholders from Forum Members, the private sector and development partner who guide the timely and effective implementation of the Pacific E-commerce Strategy.
    • Pacific E-commerce Alliance (PacifEcom): The alliance ensures that agencies implementing the Pacific E-commerce Strategy coordinate, pool resources and prevent duplication.
    • Pacific E-commerce Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) framework: This tool tracks the Pacific E-commerce Strategy’s implementation. It shows progress, aids resource mobilisation, fosters donor and implementation partners’ coordination, and promotes the Pacific E-commerce Initiative. Upon request, the Secretariat’s E-commerce Unit also supports Forum Members  to develop their own M&E frameworks.

    The Secretariat’s E-commerce Unit supports the implementation of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy by providing:

    • E-commerce Assessments and National Strategies: Supports the evaluation of Forum Members’ e-trade readiness and the development of National E-commerce Strategies to drive policy harmonisation across the region. The Secretariat’s E-commerce Unit also assists in resource mobilising for this work.
    • Pacific E-commerce Database: Managed by the Secretariat’s E-commerce Unit, in collaboration with the Pacific Community and UN Conference on Trade and Development, this comprehensive database contains 50 e-commerce indicators, which are continually updated and accessible through the Pacific E-commerce Portal.
    • PIF E-commerce Rules Course for Policymakers: Online self-learning courses to enhance Forum Officials' understanding of e-commerce laws and regulations.
    • PIF E-commerce Business Toolkits Plus Programme: Simple guides that support Forum businesses to use online tools to drive sales. The expanded PIF E-commerce Business Toolkits Plus Programme includes: toolkit development; training; mentoring and coaching of micro, small and medium enterprises; and small grants.