E-commerce Course Builds Digital Capacity for Pacific Policymakers
he second phase of an E-commerce Rules Course launched this week, will ensure greater digital capacity for Pacific policy officials. The course is for Pacific Trade officials and aims to bring participants up to speed with the latest trends in digital rulemaking through an 8-week part-time course covering over fifty key issues.
The course is in hybrid mode and builds upon the training materials available on the updated Pacific E-commerce Portal.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Director of Programmes and Initiatives, Zarak Khan, said “Pacific Islands are only making their first steps on e-commerce rulemaking. However, in the case of the digital rules, being slightly behind is also a chance – to learn from the experiences of others, and to leapfrog to the new level”.
Other speakers included H.E. David Yardley, Australia’s Chief Negotiator on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Joint Initiative on e-commerce (JSI), and Mr Wei Guo Tang, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the WTO, both stating the pivotal role of this training in shaping the regulatory future of digital trade in the region.
The course covers issues from e-commerce negotiations to cybersecurity, business and consumer trust and many more. It is aligned with the disciplines negotiated at the Joint Initiative on e-commerce at the WTO, a plurilateral forum that will shape the future of digital trade. It comes under the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap, and the Technology and Connectivity thematic area of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
Developed in collaboration with digital trade professionals from international organizations and Forum development partners such as Australia, Japan, and Singapore, the course aims to equip policymakers with the knowledge and skills needed for effective participation in the evolving landscape of digital trade.
The first cohort, comprising 74 policymakers, successfully completed the course in April 2022. The new graduates will join their peers in March 2024 within a newly established Pacific E-commerce Community of Practice.
The PIFS E-commerce Rules Course for Pacific policymakers are supported through the Australian Aid Program and the Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT) project from the European Union.