RELEASE: Officials from Forum Island Countries evaluate implementation progress of Regional E-commerce Strategy

Media Releases and News
19 April 2024

Suva, Fiji, April 18th, 2024 -- The 2nd Pacific E-commerce Committee (PEC) convened on 18 April 2024, bringing together senior officials from Forum Member countries to deliberate on the advancements made since the inception of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap (Strategy) in August 2021. PEC is the governance body mandated to oversee and steer the implementation of the Strategy, ensuring that the Pacific maintains ownership on e-commerce development projects in the region.

The Strategy, implemented under the framework of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative, has emphasized the importance of a robust governance mechanism to oversee its implementation, ensuring active involvement and direction from the Pacific developing nations. The meeting, attended by over 60 policymakers and with development partners participating as observers, reviewed the Strategy's progress, delved into the need of the Pacific private sector to engage with e-commerce, and featured presentations from selected members highlighting progress of their enabling environment.

A significant milestone showcased during the gathering was the launch of the new Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system for the Strategy, alongside the presentation of the second M&E report for 2023. This revamped M&E system is now capable of tracking the progress on Strategy implementation at all levels (54 measures, 18 strategic outputs and 7 key priority areas), and includes integration of live infographics.

The M&E latest figures reveal that 23% of the Strategy has been implemented thanks to 96 projects valued at USD 96,234,061. 61% of the Strategy’s measures are currently being actioned, compared to 43% of November 2022, date of the first M&E report. The second report is therefore revealing that despite some progress on Strategy implementation, all stakeholders of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative will need to make extra efforts in the following years.

Howard Politini, Chair of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation Board, remarked, "As we celebrate the improvements with our regional e-commerce enabling environment, it is clear that our overall implementation rate of 23% leaves much to be desired. I commend the progress achieved to date despite the challenges of outdated project information and reporting gaps. We must confront the reality that there is still a considerable amount of work ahead of us.”

With the recent enhancements to the M&E framework, Pacific officials have emphasised the importance of improving the data collection in 2024 and 2025 and have requested donor partners and implementing agencies to assist and ensure more promising results on implementation in the next M&E report.

Read more about the Pacific E-commerce Initiative