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Initiative to benefit regional private sectors

South Pacific Tourism Organisation
Saturday, July 29, 2017

THE South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) has shown its support for initiatives to develop the regional private sector by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and commended its effort in this regard after a recent Regional Capacity Building training session for PIPSO members in Nadi.

The three-day workshop was held from July 24-26 at the Hexagon International Hotel and provided a platform for the private sector to discuss their roles in regional policy making, identify the gaps and challenges, discuss outcomes of the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting and the expectations of leaders regarding private sector development.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss business disaster resilience and regional initiatives and policies in place to assist Non-State Actors, particularly the private sector.

SPTO chief executive officer Chris Cocker said: "The initiative by PIPSO to hold this regional training for her National Private Sector Organisation members is an excellent move — a step in the right direction, noting the very important role of the private sector across our Pacific island countries.

"It is crucial that they are included and involved in regional policy making to ensure that support and assistance from both government and development partners trickle down to benefit the communities of which they are a huge part."

Representatives from PIPSO's 10 member countries were present as well as representatives from various development partner organisations and donor agencies such as Pacific Leadership Program, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, United Nations agencies, University of the South Pacific, Pacific Islands Development Forum, Pacific Community (SPC)and the Solomon Islands High Commission.

The training sessions included presentations by partners, group discussions and sharing of country experiences from Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia and Samoa.

Representatives also witnessed the launching of the PIPSO Business Resilience Network — a project in partnership with UNDP and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the launching of the PIDF Green Business Centre (funded by the UNDP with technical assistance from PIPSO).

Mr Cocker congratulated PIPSO for the launch of its Business Resilience Network.

"It is great news for our private sector, especially in the tourism sector. I understand the network is aimed at supporting businesses to build their resilience to climate change and disasters. This is important for our tourism members and I am excited that such an initiative exists for the private sector," Mr Cocker said.

"The partnership between PIDF, UNDP and PIPSO on the launch of the Green Business Centre, also needs to be applauded as it will provide the evidence that the private sector needs to recognise sustainable development and climate action as not only a necessity but an opportunity for growth," he said.

The training was formally opened by Matthew Lapworth, counsellor regional political and economic development at the Australian High Commission.

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