Twenty-three participants from nine PACER Plus member countries supported by the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) are participating this week in the Pacific Regional Introductory Trade in Goods Course in Suva, Fiji from 31 July to 5 August 2023.
The five-day capacity-building event is funded by the Australian Government and organised by the University of Adelaide’s Institute for International Trade in collaboration with Fiji’s Ministry for Trade.
Samoa has three participants attending the course this week. Ms Olive Juliet Jay To-Alesana, Mr Rodney Martin Lui Yuen and Mr Xavier Pasese Tanielu are represnting Samoa’s Quarantine Division, the Ministry of Customs of Revenue, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The course aims, “to empower Pacific trade officials with the necessary skills and knowledge to enhance trade relations within the region and beyond”, states the PPIU in a media release.
“The Pacific Regional Introductory Trade in Goods Course’s primary objective is to provide a refresher on the current state of play in regional and international trade relations”.
Learning outcomes of the training include updating technical knowledge of participants on Pacific regional trade agreements and internatonal rules-based trading systems such as the World Trade Organisation.
Fiji’s Trade Minister, Hon. Manoa Kamikamica, highlighted the importance of raising the capacity of Pacific Island officials on trade agreements.
“Together, we have the opportunity to leverage this training to bolster our collective efforts in regional and multilateral forums, shaping discussions, and advocating for the interests of our region on the international stage…
“I am confident that the knowledge and skills gained here will empower you all to navigate the complexities of global trade and create lasting positive impacts for our respective economies,” said Hon. Kamikamica.
Head of the PPIU Secretariat, Mr Roy Lagolago said participation in the course is part of the PPIU’s overall aim to build trade capacities of member countries, “and allow them to effectively implement their obligations under the multilateral arrangements and regional trade agreements including PACER Plus.”
The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus is a landmark trade and development agreement which came into force in December 2020 ratified by 10 Pacific Island Forum member countries including Australia, Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The overarching objective of PACER Plus is to raise living standards, create jobs and increase exports from Pacific Island countries, while also lowering barriers and providing greater certainty for businesses operating in the Pacific.
The training was delivered by Australia, with participants from the other nine member countries.