PIF Regional workshop advances E-commerce legal frameworks in the Pacific

Regional workshop advances E-commerce legal frameworks in the Pacific

A significant stride in the advancement of Pacific E-commerce was marked with the initiation of a 3-day regional workshop focusing on legal frameworks to support the digital economy and the groundbreaking signing of the Statement of intent for the Pacific E-commerce Alliance by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The workshop was held from 18-20 October, 2023.

Under the umbrella of the Pacific E-commerce Initiative, the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), Asia Development Bank (ADB), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), hosted the “Workshop on Effective Legal Frameworks for Building the Digital Economy” at the Pacific Islands Forum, in Suva.

This workshop aligns with Key Priority Area 4 of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap, underscoring the significance of robust E-commerce laws and regulations as the fundamental building blocks for fostering E-commerce development across the Pacific region.

The primary objective of this workshop was to enhance capacity, raise awareness, encourage dialogue, and facilitate knowledge exchange among influential policymakers, government officials, senior ICT professionals, technocrats and legal reform officers in the region. Participants had the opportunity to attend presentations of leading experts in various areas of the digital economy, attend engaging panel sessions, and participate in group exercises to enhance their understanding of the topics.

PIF Deputy Secretary-General, Esala Nayasi, emphasised ‘E-commerce presents the potential to facilitate trade, connect our islands, and empower businesses in the digital era. However, doing so correctly is essential. This workshop addresses one of the priority areas of the Regional Strategy, focusing on advancing E-commerce and legal and regulatory frameworks. Our goal is to equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills to craft legislation that fosters innovation, protects consumers and the private sector, and builds trust in online marketplaces.’

During the event, ComSec’s Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Arjoon Suddhoo, also shared valuable insights, ‘This initiative tracks our pathway to the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in Samoa, and its theme “One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Commonwealth.”

He said the “Commonwealth Aiga of 56 nations, recognizes the importance of developing resilient economies to support recovery from and survive future pandemics, withstand economic uncertainties, and unlock the potential of the private sector.” He added that the adoption of innovative and transformative technologies and digital solutions “can safeguard the prosperity of our family of nations.’

The training received contributions from various regional and international agencies such as the United Nations and Commission on International Trade Law, International Chamber of Commerce, World Intellectual Property Organization, and many more.

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