Forum Secretary General Baron Waqa Tuesday chaired the 7th Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Independent Advisory Board meeting in Sydney, Australia to consider business growth in the Blue Pacific and build opportunities for export-ready and investment-ready businesses.

The meeting was opened by the new Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Baron Waqa, who noted “Pacific Trade Invest improves the livelihoods of Pacific people by enabling decent work and economic growth in our region. By building business capacity and connecting businesses with importers and investors in global markets, PTI plays a vital role in facilitating commercial opportunities for Pacific businesses.”

The PTI Independent Advisory Board was established in 2022 to ensure that PTI adheres to sound governance practices. Discussion centred around the achievements of PTI offices in Australia, China, Europe, New Zealand and Japan, as well as current and future priorities and financials.

In 2023 PTI assisted over 1,000 Pacific business, almost half of them female led, facilitated A$95.1M is exports from the region into international markets and attracted A$22M in good investment into the region.

PTI recently commissioned a report into the ‘Carbon Credit Investment Opportunities in Pacific Island Countries’. The report outlines the current status of carbon trading in the Pacific, examining the potential for institutional strengthening, legal frameworks and regulatory structures to facilitate international carbon transactions. The meeting carefully considered the recommendations of the report and will investigate what actions PIFS and PTI can take to enable the Pacific regions increased participation in the $ Trillion global carbon markets

The work of PTI supports the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. SG Waqa noted “as we move forward, it is imperative that we remain focused on our core mission which is to enhance the economic prosperity and resilience of Pacific Island countries and territories through innovation and strategic partnerships. Our strength lies in our unity, our shared vision, and our firm dedication to the betterment of our region.”

DFAT Australia supports Pacific Trade and Investment through multi-year funding agreements for PIF Geneva, PTI Europe and PTI Australia totaling AUD $21.3m. MFAT New Zealand supports PTI New Zealand with NZD $10.8m. The People’s Republic of China provides annual funding of USD$818,000 for PTI China. The Pacific Islands Centre (PIC) in Tokyo is funded primarily by MOFA Japan.