Focus on regionalism

THERE is a need to venture away from the rhetoric regional language defining the Pacific as a vulnerable region, says Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) program officer Venina Niumataiwalu.

Instead, Ms Niumataiwalu said we should go towards shaping the Pacific as an innovative and creative region presented with a host of potential for doing business.

Ms Niumataiwalu made these remarks while sharing sentiments from a recent regional workshop during the Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific conference which was opened in Suva yesterday.

“The collaboration of all Asia Pacific economies in the true spirit of regionalism must be a motivating driving factor to share the economic inequalities for the higher and broader benefits of all stake holding nations in our region,” Ms Niumataiwalu said.

Speaking further on the rational for targeted interventions on aid for trade (AfT) highlighted in the ADB 2017 Aid for Trade report, Ms Niumataiwalu stressed the need for infrastructure development and connectivity in the Pacific to improve regional trade.

The report had highlighted the experience of geographically challenged nations, particularly those in the Pacific Islands, demonstrating the important role of enabling infrastructure and complimentary policy measures in improving the performance of services sectors.

“Connectivity is a non-negotiable factor in the overall effectiveness and participatory essentials for private enterprises in regional trade,” she said.

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