The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) and Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) have formally agreed to work together on business and investment opportunities between Forum Island Countries and Commonwealth nations.
The CBC provides a bridge between the private sector and government, between emerging markets and developed markets and between small business and the international private sector. PT&I is the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat’s export, tourism, trade and investment promotion arm with offices in New Zealand, Australia, China and Japan.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade and CBC Managing Director Steve Godfrey this week will be the essential bridge-building platform between Pacific Island businesses and those in the rest of the Commonwealth nations.
The document covers wide ranging measures to promote business and investment meant to benefit island nations and the nations of the Commonwealth including sharing knowledge, information and business intelligence, human resources development, training and exchange of personnel between the signatories.
The two parties also will work together to explore trade and investment opportunities as well as establish trading relationships in each other’s national groupings. Within three months of the signing, the parties will identify a start up a programme to initiate cooperation under the MOU, which runs until December 31, 2013.
“The MOU is a gesture of confidence from our region to reach out, to demonstrate our ability to do business with the wider Commonwealth community,” said Secretary General Slade after the signing ceremony. “We need to encourage our private sector to do more to tap into this emerging opportunity. This is a great start for enabling greater business and investment flows between the Pacific Islands and the Commonwealth.”
The signing ceremony took place at a special session of the Commonwealth Business Forum which is being attended for the first time by Pacific Islands representatives. Businesspeople from Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Nauru are at the event.