Cook Islands New E-Commerce Work Plan to Drive Economic Growth and Innovation

29 Aug 2023

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands – The Cook Islands took a significant step towards fostering a dynamic e-commerce ecosystem with the launch of the Cook Islands E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan. The strategy was funded by the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) and aims to drive economic growth, innovation, and job creation in the digital age.

Ms. Sally Wyatt (far right), Chief Economist and E-commerce Lead with the Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Development at the launch of the E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan.

The Cook Islands E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan was unveiled by the Hon. Mark Brown, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, in a ceremony held on 23 August 2023, in Avarua. The plan sets forth a comprehensive approach to enhancing the nation's e-commerce landscape, focusing on collaboration between government and private sector stakeholders.

Prime Minister Brown emphasized the transformative potential of the E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan, stating that the Work Plan "is a significant milestone in our efforts to build a resilient and prosperous economy".

Mr. Roy Lagolago, Head of the PACER Plus Implementation Unit, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative: "PACER Plus is proud to support the Cook Islands in its journey towards a thriving e-commerce ecosystem. This work plan reflects a well-considered strategy that aligns with regional goals and priorities, and we are confident that it will have a positive and lasting impact on the Cook Islands' economic development."

The Cook Islands E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan is designed with a phased approach to implementation, focusing on key policy areas that include the legal and regulatory framework, online payments, policies and strategies, ICT infrastructure and services, logistics and trade facilitation, skills development, and access to finance.

The work plan is the result of extensive consultations with industry stakeholders, government officials, consumers, and international partners. It also incorporates findings from a comprehensive legal and regulatory analysis, identifying priority reforms to support the growth of the e-commerce sector.

The phased activities range from modernising payment systems and adopting cybercrime protections to expanding access to digital infrastructure and promoting consumer protection. The work plan aligns with the Pacific Regional E-Commerce Strategy and Roadmap, ensuring harmonisation with regional efforts.

The Cook Islands E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan aims to empower government, industry, and consumers to collectively contribute to the success of the e-commerce sector. By fostering consumer trust, enhancing digital skills, and driving innovation, the plan is poised to pave the way for a robust and prosperous e-commerce landscape that benefits emerging industries and all Cook Islanders.

To read the Cook Islands E-Commerce Acceleration Work Plan click here.


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