The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) is gearing up for the second cycle of the PIFS E-commerce Rules Course for Pacific policymakers, scheduled from 23 November 2023 to 20 February 2024. The training is aimed at enhancing the capacity of Pacific Negotiators in working on and engaging with e-commerce rules.
The growth of e-commerce has underscored the necessity of discussions regarding rules that govern online business transactions. These discussions are underway through the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI) on e-commerce with over 90 countries participating, representing a substantial portion of global trade, amounting to roughly 90%.
The course holds particular significance for Pacific policymakers seeking involvement in e-commerce negotiations or aiming to familiarise themselves with e-commerce provisions that may be included in future FTAs. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the key issues discussed at the JSI and the rule-making processes at the national, regional, and international context.
The PIFS E-commerce Rules Course builds on the success of the first cycle held in 2022, which had over 100 participants and 74 graduates. PIFS is leveraging insights from experts following the JSI on E-commerce negotiations, including representatives from World Trade Organisation (WTO), UN Commission on International Trade Law, UN Conference on Trade and Economic Development, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific , the Commonwealth Secretariat and many more.
As e-commerce continues to expand rapidly, the training program has been updated to provide valuable insights. It presents an excellent opportunity for both new trainees and previous participants to stay informed about the latest developments in e-commerce negotiations and how they might prepare for future involvement. The workshop will be conducted online over 8 weeks on a part-time basis recognising that officials have other responsibilities.
Her Excellency Ms. Mere Falemaka, PIFS Permanent Delegate and Ambassador to the WTO emphasised, “Many of the Pacific countries are not part of the JSI on e-commerce negotiations. However, the decisions made there may impact everyone, including us, and therefore we must find ways to understand these provisions and promote our interest through alternative channels and fora that we are party to as well as be prepared with what the changes would be in the context of trade negotiations. The Pacific continues to engage in the ongoing discussion on the E-commerce Work Programme to address the issue of digital divide for developing Members.”
E-commerce is one of the key priorities under the Regional Aid-for-Trade Strategy and the delivery of the course contributes directly to the implementation of Measure 4.2.1 of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap, approved by Forum Trade Ministers in 2021.
Nominations for the course should be submitted by 23 November, to the PIFS Pacific E-commerce Unit via email: email@example.com. All queries regarding the second cycle of the course should be directed to Mr Mattia De Biasi, Project Coordinator for the PIFS E-commerce Rules Course for policymakers, on email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information:
Online training material from the first cycle of the PIFS E-commerce Rules for policymakers: here
PIFS E-commerce Acceleration Program: E-commerce Disciplines Project
First cycle’s press release (inception meeting): PIFS E-commerce Rules Course, 2022
First cycle’s press release (graduation): PIFS E-commerce Disciplines Course Graduation, 2022