Pacific E-commerce Private Sector Sub-committee-min

First Private Sector Meeting on E-commerce Development in the Blue Pacific

The inaugural meeting of the Pacific E-commerce Private Sector Sub-committee on 22 March 2024 marked a significant milestone in coordinating e-commerce development initiatives across the Blue Pacific region.

Under the leadership of Mr Howard Politini, Board Chair of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), the Sub-committee highlighted the need for a governance mechanism to support the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap. Mr Politini stressed, “With over 50 regional measures and ambitious goals on the horizon, there is a crucial need for a governance mechanism.” The formation of two Sub-committees, including the Private Sector, was directed by the Pacific E-commerce Committee during its inaugural meeting in December 2022.

The meeting convened over 20 participants from 12 countries, discussing key developments in the e-commerce sector. It introduced the upgraded Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system, designed to track the implementation progress of the Regional E-commerce Strategy, and discussed preliminary results. Participants gained valuable insights into private sector challenges and potential solutions related to e-commerce. They also received an overview of the Pacific E-commerce Governance, which highlighted how the Private Sector Sub-committee interacts with other Committee bodies, such as the Pacific E-commerce Committee and the Development Partners Sub-committee. The meeting also benefitted from a presentation from Mastercard Pacific, which provided an insights into their programs to improve the e-commerce enabling environment in the Pacific, sparking engaging discussions among attendees.

There was positive feedback on the current networks and tools in place to support implementation of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap. Ms Eunice Borero, Grants and Operations Manager of the Republic of Marshall Islands’ (RMI) Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted, ‘[…] the (Pacific E-commerce) Portal will be very helpful for us here in RMI. It serves as a valuable source of information, particularly for those of us who are new to exploring the potential of e-commerce.’

The meeting underscored the commitment to advocating for business perspectives and challenges in e-commerce. The Sub-committee Chair will present the meeting outcomes, highlighting challenges and priority measures to be considered by Forum Officials and development partners, at the Pacific E-commerce Committee meeting on 18 April 2024. The next meeting of the Sub-committee is expected to take place in the first half of 2025.

The meeting was organized by the Pacific Islands Forum in collaboration with PIPSO.

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