PIF´s Development Solution

E-commerce Acceleration Program for the Pacific

Program in a Nutshell

Created in 2017

11 activities carried out

Services

  • Building Skills and Training
  • Institutional Building and Support to Institutions
  • Policy Advice, Support and Formulation

Donors

  • Australia
  • European Union
  • Republic of Korea

Cross-cutting

Measuring of e-commerceWomen digital empowerment

Geographical scope

Regional Economic Status

Partner : PIF

Contact us

Yes! I want to learn more about how this program could help my business, organization, country or region.

About

PIF initiated work on E-commerce in 2017. The program supports Forum Island Countries to engage in digital trade, so as to promote sustainable growth and poverty eradication. In its inception phase, the program focused on analytical and policy work to establish the foundations for Forum Island Countries to undertake transformative actions in e-commerce. Since 2022, focus has shifted to implementation of such actions following the adoption of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap. Beyond implementation, the PIF has a leading role in the overall coordination of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative.

Services
  • Building Skills and Training

    • E-commerce Business Toolkits

      Implemented by PIF, the E-commerce Business Toolkits are a series of plain-language booklets tailored to the e-commerce landscape of specific members to help local businesses to start their online journey. With a simple language and local examples these booklets can help small businesses to choose the best options to go online, get an understating of the costs to do so, market their company, get paid online, and address the logistic challenges related to e-commerce.

      E-commerce Disciplines Training for Pacific Negotiators

      The project supports negotiators from Forum Island Countries to negotiate and implementation of future digital trade agreements and E-commerce provisions in Free Trade Agreements. The first part of training is devoted to build awareness of e-commerce and e-commerce rule-making on different (national, regional, international, etc.) levels, as well as to the overview of the scope and content of the key disciplines proposed in different negotiating/rule-making fora. The second part of the training is designed to deepen participants’ knowledge of the e-commerce rule making through a closer look at the modalities and dynamics of e-commerce negotiations (with the JSI on E-commerce negotiations at the WTO/RTA negotiations being used as a case study), a more profound exploration of development implications on the e-commerce ecosystem, and practical discussion on implementation of e-commerce rules involving the peers already possessing the relevant experience. The course was delivered online in 2022, with a self-paced version available on the Pacific E-commerce Portal.

  • Institutional Building and Support to Institutions

    • Pacific E-commerce Committee

      The ambitious development goals proposed by the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap will be challenging to accomplish without the support of a sound governance mechanism. At the core of this mechanism lies the Pacific E-commerce Committee, which will be established under the auspices of the PIF. It would report to Forum Trade Ministers through the Steering Committee of the Pacific Aid-for-Trade Strategy Working Group. The Pacific E-commerce Committee was established in December 2022 following the endorsement of its TOR by members. Also endorsed are the establishment of the sub-committee for the private sector and development partners.

      M&E Framework

      The Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap contains 54 measures to be implemented across the Bule Pacific Region. As the PIFS switched its focus on implementation, it is key to take stock of the progress made on measures’ implementation for member countries, implementing agencies and donor partners to be informed, make decisions, and take action. The monitoring and evaluation system drives the coordination work of the PIFS and provides the Pacific E-commerce Committee with the tool to report to the Forum Ministers on the progress made towards the implementation of the Strategy. The PIFS publish a monitoring and evaluation report each year to the Pacific E-commerce Committee.

      Pacific E-commerce Portal

      The Pacific E-commerce Portal was launched in August 2022 to serve as a regional repository on e-commerce including: (1) opportunities for technical assistance by our partners – on the portal you can find descriptions of projects and programs going on in the region, as well as contact details of responsible officers – visit the programs section of the portal and if you find a project you like, contact the relevant agency or the PIFS to seek assistance; (2) e-commerce reports and knowledge products; (3) statistics; (4) training material; (5) and news.

      E-commerce database

      The PIFS, together with SPC and UNCTAD, development the first Pacific E-commerce database. A first version of the database, which includes 37 indicators, is already available on the Pacific E-commerce Portal.

  • Policy Advice, Support and Formulation

    • National E-commerce Strategies

      The PIFS is providing support for policy formulation. The national e-commerce strategies will serve as a roadmap for how e-commerce can be used to support national development goals in the trade, services and industry sectors. It will identify priority areas with the potential for economic growth, job creation and increased trade, and propose activities to undertake in the short, medium and long term. A governance structure will be established to monitor implementation and impact of the strategy. The PIF has developed a Strategy for Samoa and work is ongoing with Tuvalu and PNG.

      National E-commerce Assessments

      The PIFS has undertaken 11 eTrade Readiness Assessments in partnership with the UNCTAD. These assessments provide a snapshot of the e-commerce ecosystem in the Pacific Island Countries for each of the seven pillars of the eTrade for all initiative, which are key to embrace their digital transformation: e-commerce assessments, ICT infrastructure, payment solutions, trade facilitation and logistics, legal and regulatory frameworks, skills development, and access to finance. The assessments also address challenges related gender equity and measurement of e-commerce.

Highlights
  • Development of Pacific E-commerce Statistics

    •  

      PIF E-commerce Statistics

      In January 2023, the Pacific Islands Forum and Australia signed a grant agreement to support a project on e-commerce statistics in the Pacific. The project seeks to address the lack of e-commerce data in the Pacific and aims to support decision-making in the region by developing and improving access to e-commerce data. In 2022, together with SPC and UNCTAD, the PIF built a Pacific E-commerce Database, comprising 37 indicators. The recently signed grant will support improvements to the Database by completing existing data series, adding more indicators and strengthening the relationships with the National Offices of Statistics in the Pacific. The project is aligned with the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap and directly addresses the data challenges outlined in UNCTAD’s recently launched Digital Economy Report: Pacific Edition 2022.

  • Establishment of the Pacific E-commerce Committee and the M&E Framework

    • In December 2022, PIF organised the first meeting of the Pacific E-commerce Committee, which formally established it as the core of the governance mechanism supporting the implementation of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy.  During the meeting, members and observers had the opportunity to appreciate the progress on the implementation of the Strategy, endorse the first M&E report and the establishment of Pacific E-commerce Sub-committees for the Private Sector and the Development Partners.

Impact Stories
  • PIF and UNCTAD co-hosted the Launch of Digital Economy Report: Pacific Edition 2022

    • On 16 February 2023, PIF jointly organized with UNCTAD the launch of the first-ever Digital Economy Report for the Pacific. The report presents a broad overview of the current digital economy landscape in the region and highlights key information about emerging trends and business models to inform effective policymaking in this complex environment. Over 200 participants including policymakers, private sector representatives and regional experts attended the hybrid launching event, which was held at the PIF in Suva, Fiji. Launching of the same report happened in Geneva a few hours later.

  • Regional e-commerce training on rules

    • PIF organized a regional training for trade policymakers in the region from March to April 2022. The training was attended by over 100 participants and led to 74 graduates from the region of which 50 were women. The course material and resources are freely available as self-paced training on the Pacific E-commerce Portal.

      Akeneta Vonoyauyau is the Manager of Price Control and Monitoring at the Fijian Competition & Consumer Commission. She was able to attend the regional e-commerce training on rules in April 2022. The course has helped Akeneta to understand the linkages between e-commerce, consumer protection and competition. She enjoyed the course and encouraged policymakers who did not have the chance to attend the training to consider following the self-paced course now available on the Pacific E-commerce Portal.

  • Pacific E-commerce Committee

    • The Pacific E-commerce Committee was established to support the governance mechanism of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap. It specifically supports the coordination and oversight of the implementation of the Strategy and is a forum where members, donors and implementing agencies can share experience, challenges, needs and opportunities in e-commerce.

      Roger Toleafoa, Assistant CEO of Fair Trading, Codex Alimentarius, Consumer Protection & Metrology Division, represented Samoa at the first Pacific E-commerce Committee meeting held in December 2022. He was proud to present Samoa’s achievements in e-commerce, which include the launch of Samoa’s National E-commerce Strategy. He was glad for Samoa to have the opportunity to present its priorities to the meeting given the participation of other Forum country members, development partners and implementing agencies.

Publications
FOR WHOM
ParliamentariansPolicy makersPoliticiansLegal professionalsBusiness AssociationsCorporationsMSMEsSMEsAcademiaExpertsDecision makers
PARTNERS
  • National agencies or bodies

    • Trade and ICT Ministries across the Pacific
    • National E-commerce Committees
  • Regional organizations

    • The Pacific Community (SPC)
    • Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO)
  • International organizations

    • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
    • United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
    • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Corporations

    • Tradeworthy
UN SDGs

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