Regional e-commerce negotiators training begins

Pacific officials have started a four-week training course to help them engage with negotiations and implementation of e-commerce rules.

Currently, many Pacific countries require support to negotiate and implement rules suitable to boost digital trade.

To address these gaps, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has developed a regional course which brings together experts from across the globe.

The training will build awareness of e-commerce rulemaking. In coming weeks’ participants will start developing national positions and deepen their knowledge of related negotiations, notably at the World Trade Organisation. The training will culminate with preparation and presentation of position papers on national priorities.

Opening the virtual training, the PIF Geneva Office Permanent Representative, Ambassador Mere Falemaka said: “To fully realise E-commerce potential, more must be done at the national and regional level to create an enabling environment.

“There is a significant risk for those remaining outside the negotiations of new rules that will shape the conduct of e-commerce in the future. I am confident that this training will equip officials with the technical knowledge and skills to enable them to participate productively in e-commerce negotiations at regional and multilateral level.”

Australia is funding the training, which is also supported by the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Commonwealth Small States Office, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, and Trade Worthy Ltd.