Pacific trade officials have completed two days of intensive meetings in Suva in preparation for the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers (PACPTMM) and Forum Trade Ministers Meetings (FTMM) on Thursday, 05 October and Friday, 06 October.

Setting regional trade and investment priorities and regional initiatives to 2050, the 2023 PACPTMM and FTMM will centre around the theme ‘Our Pacific Way in Leveraging Regional Priorities in Trade, Investment and Private Sector to Implement the 2050 Strategy.’

Close to 120 participants have registered for Ministerial meetings as official-level talks set the proposed trade agenda for the region in support of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

Discussions will include updates on private sector development and labour mobility, and progress from the Forum’s global Pacific Trade and Invest network. They will also cover the state of regional trade and investment, current and emerging opportunities and the challenges of supply chain disruptions from the Ukraine-Russia War, impacts of COVID-19, climate change, and natural disasters. Ministers will also deliberate on regional projects and strategies, including the Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy 2020-2025, Pacific Regional Kava Strategy, Quality Infrastructure, and E-Commerce initiatives.

“The substantive work of the Trade Ministerial meetings revolves around what is current and what is evolving when it comes to our collective responses to global trade opportunities. I wish to thank all those who’ve assisted with preparations and invested months of work behind-the-scenes gearing up for this Ministerial meeting. The issues are deep, complex and challenging, and require a shift from ‘business-as-usual’ approaches,” said Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna.

He emphasised that trade partnerships must yield sustainable benefits, “and a deeper focus on effectively rolling out the 2050 Strategy in a trade context. Trade issues must be front of mind as we head towards the Leaders meeting in the Cook Islands with the outcomes from this Forum Trade Ministerial. We look forward to some rich and decisive sessions.”