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PIF’s big e-commerce move

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) will play a major role in strengthening e-commerce capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities in the Pacific region after it joined the United Nations global eTrade for all initiative.

Being the 35th member of the initiative also means that PIF will play a major role in sharing the Pacific region’s experiences to other partners and stakeholders.

“We are pleased to be the latest addition to the eTrade for all initiative and join forces with partners to improve digital trade readiness in the Pacific”, said Mere Falemaka, Ambassador, Permanent Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations in Geneva.

“The COVID-19 pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities for the world, including our region. It is therefore essential that Pacific businesses are well-equipped to face this new digital era to avoid the risk of falling behind”, Ms. Falemaka added.

In efforts to bridge the distance between island states and save on trade costs and further promote diversification of Pacific economies, PIF had initiated the Pacific E-commerce Initiative in 2017. E-commerce was one of the four priorities of the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Strategy 2020-2025.

To complement this Pacific E-commerce portal, the regional information repository on e-commerce development in the Pacific was launched in August this year.

Director of the UNCTAD Division on Technology and Logistics, Shamika Sirimanne welcomed the move saying, “I am proud to lead this unique global partnership that connects the dots between countries, partners and donors and leverages the digital economy for inclusive and sustainable development.”

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) will play a major role in strengthening e-commerce capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities in the Pacific region after it joined the United Nations global eTrade for all initiative. Picture: PIF Twitter
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) will play a major role in strengthening e-commerce capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities in the Pacific region after it joined the United Nations global eTrade for all initiative. Picture: PIF Twitter

“We look forward to engaging further with PIF and other partners to expand the current support for e-commerce and digital development in the Pacific region for the benefit of all.”

Fostering partnerships to enhance capacity

Created in 2016, the eTrade for all initiative serves as a global helpdesk for information and contacts on technical assistance in policy areas key to the development of e-commerce and the digital economy in developing countries.

It has since generated widely acknowledged and vital spin-offs, such as the eTrade readiness assessments and the eTrade for Women initiative.

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The initiative marked a new milestone in April 2022 with the enrolment of the International Chamber of Commerce as its principal private sector counterpart.

This partnership leverages a global network of businesses and resources to maximize the impact of the digital economy.

The initiative’s various cooperation and spin-off activities have been funded by Australia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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