The Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Asia Development Bank (ADB), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) hosted a 3-day regional workshop centered on e-commerce legal frameworks.
The event, held at PIFS in Suva, brought together more than 40 legal, ICT, and trade officials from Forum Island Countries, all gathering to acquire deep understanding of e-commerce laws essential to facilitate and regulate the digital economy sector.
The workshop is aligned with the objectives outlined in the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap (the Strategy), endorsed by Pacific Trade Ministers in 2021. Key Priority Area 4 of the Strategy places a strong emphasis on the adoption of e-commerce laws, underlining the importance of creating a solid legal foundation for e-commerce development in the Pacific region.
The workshop participants benefitted from a wealth of expert transfers from various regional and international agencies such as the United Nations and Commission on International Trade Law, International Chamber of Commerce, World Intellectual Property Organization, and many more.
Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. Esala Nayasi, expressed in his welcome remarks, ” E-commerce presents the potential to facilitate trade, connect our islands, and empower businesses in the digital era. However, doing so correctly is essential. This workshop addresses one of the priority areas of the Regional Strategy, focusing on advancing E-commerce and legal and regulatory frameworks. Our goal is to equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills to craft legislation that fosters innovation, protects consumers and the private sector, and builds trust in online marketplaces”.
The Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo, also added, ” This initiative contributes to our pathway to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that is scheduled to take place in Samoa in 2024, under the theme “One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Common Wealth”.
“The Commonwealth Aiga of 56 nations, recognizes the importance of developing resilient economies to support recovery from and survive future pandemics, withstand economic uncertainties, and unlock the potential of the private sector, bolstered by the adoption of innovative and transformative technologies and digital solutions that can safeguard the prosperity of our family of nations”.
The workshop is co-hosted under the umbrella of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative, a multi-stakeholder partnership supporting Forum Island Countries advance e-commerce development in the region. The Pacific E-commerce Initiative focus is on the implementation of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap.