RELEASE: Pacific E-commerce Private Sector Sub-Committee Convene Inaugural Meeting

Media Releases and News
22 March 2024

PIF Suva, March 22, 2024--This week, e-commerce governance in the Pacific region progressed significantly with the inaugural meeting of the Pacific E-commerce Private Sector Sub-committee. 

Speaking at the opening formalities of the meeting, Howard Politini, Chairperson of the Private Sector Sub-committee highlighted the importance of the event. 

“The private sector stands as the cornerstone of e-commerce, and it's crucial for development partners and policymakers to grasp the intricacies of our on-the-ground efforts, especially the challenges we encounter. Challenges come with both consequences and opportunities for creativity. In the spirit of regionalism sharing our ideas is also a valuable response. This meeting space provides us with a valuable opportunity to engage and dialogue on this pivotal topic for our region.”, he said.

Discussions focused on improving the enabling environment for e-commerce through the prioritization of specific measures of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap; an insight into the new features of the upgraded Monitoring and Evaluation Framework; and the sharing of stakeholders’ e-commerce visions, plans, and needs for the year ahead

The Sub-committee’s membership comprises national E-commerce Private Sector focal points from national Chambers of Forum Island Countries. More than 20 participants, representing 12 Forum Member countries, attended the meeting. Observers included representatives from the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce and multinational companies implementing the Strategy. Amongst the observers, a representative from Mastercard Pacific had the opportunity to present their past and future projects focusing on payment and innovation, key areas of interest for the private sector to boost Trade. 

The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, noted "that ‘these gatherings symbolize the fulfillment of the Forum Trade Ministers’ vision for a mechanism coordinating the implementation of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap.”

He said reporting to the Pacific E-commerce Committee would ensure the  Sub-committee keeps  Forum Island Members fully aware of the regional projects and programs boosting Pacific e-commerce readiness, of the remaining challenges to achieve this objective, and of the views of private sector on how to address the changes. 

The outcome of this meeting will be reported to the Pacific E-commerce Committee, which comprises National E-commerce Focal Points from Forum Island Countries. The Pacific E-commerce Committee meeting is scheduled for 18 April 2024, and reports to the Forum Trade Ministers through the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Technical Working Group.