Workshop on Emerging Global and Regional Trade Issues for the Commonwealth Pacific Island Countries

Venue: Scenic Hotel

Hosted by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Date: 12-13 November 2015

A two-day’ workshop on Emerging Global and Regional Trade Issues for the Commonwealth Pacific Region began at the Scenic Hotel, Pelehake, Tongatapu on the 12-13 November 2015. His Excellency, the Crown Prince, Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala was the Guest of Honor at the opening ceremony. The opening remarks by the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni followed by Commonwealth Secretariat. In his opening remarks, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni said that recent global developments have provided “a widow of opportunity to improve our trade and development efforts.”A question that I want to post to you. How can we ensure that all our Pacific people actually benefit from this window of opportunity?"

He also reminded participants that International Trade and Investment "are the engine for an inclusive economic growth, and poverty reduction."

At the workshop are Senior Trade Policy Officials from across the Commonwealth Pacific countries and policy-makers from across the region and the commonwealth to build a greater understanding of emerging trade-related developments facing the Pacific and to discuss policy options on how to address them.

Here are the following sessions that schedule to be covered each day:

12th November 2015

  1. Session 1:Overview of some trade and development issues for Pacific island countries (Delivered by: Rashid S.Kaukab, Executive director, Cuts International, Geneva)
  2. Session 2:  Fisheries – Sustainable Management and Enforcement – FFA (Delivered by: Mike Batty, Director – Fisheries Development)
  3. Session 3: Services Negotiations in the Post-Bali Context (Options and Opportunities for Commonwealth Pacific Countries)
  4. Session 4: Pacific Region Integration (PRI) Process (Delivered by: Dr. Scott with assistance Tesi)

13th November 2015

  1. Session 5: Trade Facilitation Agreement– Issues for the Pacific (Delivered by: Alex Kerangpuna, PIFS Geneva Office)
  2. Session 6:  Value Chains and Connectivity in the Pacific (Delivered by: Ben Shepherd, Principal Developing Consultants)
  3. Session 7:  Climate Change: Linkage to Trade and Development Pacific Region Preparation for the COP21 (Delivered by: Dr. Netatua Pelesikoti, Climate Change Division, SPREP)

For the second day of the workshop, I was able to sit in on 2 of the sessions… Session 5 & Session 6.. This is just a bit of information I was able to get out of the presentations as I had only attended a part of the presentations scheduled for the day…..

Session 5: Trade Facilitation: This session mainly highlights the issues with trade in the Pacific which were mainly environmental issues as well as talking about Value Chain – how we could add value to each step and processes of activities

  1. Issues for the Pacific

      Some of the main concerns were the costs to trade associated with these issues

  1. Value Chain

Session 6: Regional Integration in the Pacific