PACER Plus Trade in Services Workshop Fuels Capacity Development in the Region

19 Jan 2024

SUVA, Fiji – The PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) in collaboration with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) successfully conducted the Pacific Regional Advanced Trade in Services (TIS) and Project Proposal Workshop from 16-19 January 2024, in Suva, Fiji. This event marks a pivotal point in advancing regional cooperation and empowering Pacific nations to navigate the complexities of services trade.

The workshop builds on the foundation of the PPIU's Introductory TIS Workshop in Samoa in May 2023, and the Pacific Regional Introductory TIS Workshop and Proposal Clinic in Suva in September 2023.

Regional participants attend the PACER Plus Advanced Pacific Regional Trade in Services and Project Proposal Workshop in Suva, Fiji.

Ms. Olivia Phongkham, PPIU's Trade in Services and Investment Adviser, expressed enthusiasm about the workshops impact.

"This workshop is an exciting event for Pacific Island Countries to maximise the opportunities services trade and investment provides the region. It also allows participants to share their experiences and knowledge with other countries, so that they can learn from each other and help build a community of practice. The discussions on scheduled commitments and digitally enabled services provide valuable insights for our ongoing efforts in the Pacific," she said.

The objective of the Advanced Pacific Regional TIS Workshop is to increase the participants' understanding of, and capacity to negotiate and implement, Services commitments under PACER Plus and International Trade Agreements. In addition, participants further developed their skills in drafting and finalising bankable project proposals on trade in services, e-commerce, and investment for PACER Plus and international organisations.

Mr. Shaheen Ali, Permanent Secretary to the Fijian Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs, and Communications.

Mr. Shaheen Ali, Permanent Secretary to the Fijian Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs, and Communications, emphasised the significance of the initiative.

"To grow our trade in services, our private sector needs secure, consistent, and guaranteed access to markets in our region and beyond. Regional and bilateral trade agreements will play an important role in extending the services export market of the Pacific and the world," he said.

Mr. Andrew Shepherd, Acting Deputy High Commissioner at the Australian High Commission in Fiji, highlighted the collaborative efforts involved, saying, "Australia values its partnership with Pacific nations in trade development. The success of this workshop reflects the shared commitment to fostering economic growth and prosperity in the region."

Following the successful conclusion of this workshop, there are tentative plans to run another event later in 2024.


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