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Pacific Islands Digital Trade Dialogue

Pacific Islands, Virtual

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Pacific Trade Invest

The eTrade Alliance co-hosted a Digital Trade Dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Trade Invest on March 4th, 2022, bringing together expert speakers from government, private sector, as well as MSME entrepreneurs to discuss the state of ecommerce in the Pacific Islands, current challenges, and possible solutions.


The objective of this dialogue was to identify and formulate proof of concepts that can promote ecommerce for Pacific MSMEs, and which can be piloted with the support of the Alliance’s private sector partners as integrated, if and when necessary, by USAID and other development partners’ funds. In particular, this dialogue would explore business model, programmatic, policy, and technology solutions to support Pacific Island economies’ efforts to grow MSMEs’ online sales, especially to foreign markets, aiming to catalyze discussions on:


• Challenges to Pacific Island MSMEs’ engagement in domestic and cross-border ecommerce;


• Business, technology, and policy, programmatic solutions to these challenges, in key areas such as MSME capacity-building, cross-border payments, and cross-border and last-mile logistics; and


• Pilot program ideas to operationalize the discussed solutions to promote MSME ecommerce, including with local stakeholders and international donors.


Welcoming Remarks (10:00-10:10) 

  • Henry Puna, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum

  • Regina Mackenzie, USAID Acting Deputy Mission Director for the Pacific


Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap and private sector involvement in implementation (10:10-10:15)

  • Noah Kouback, Programme Adviser (Trade), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat


Introduction to the event’s goals and eTrade Alliance’s work (10:15-10:20) 

  • Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group and Technical Director of eTrade Alliance


Panel 1: Best practices, solutions, and new ideas for MSME ecommerce capacity-building (10:20-11:00)

  • Matt Simpson, Founder, Green Banana Paper (FSM)

  • Janet Lotawa, Founder, Rise Beyond the Reef (Fiji)

  • Glynis Miller, Trade Commissioner, Pacific Trade Invest (New Zealand)

  • Erica Libertelli, Director, eCommerce Institute (Argentina)

  • Moderator: Zarak Khan, Director, Programmes and Initiatives, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat


Panel 2: Enabling Pacific Island entrepreneurs’ cross-border payments (11:00-11:40)

  • Craig Kirkland, Director, Pacific Islands, Mastercard (United States)

  • Truman Bradley, CEO, Fintech Pacific (Fiji)

  • Anthony Watson, Country Manager, New Zealand and South Pacific, Visa Inc (United States)

  • Moderator: Ajay Jagannath, Regional Technical Specialist, United Nations Capital Development Fund



Panel 3: Enabling cost-effective cross-border and last-mile logistics (11:40-12:20)

  • Ms. Toleafoa Nella Tavita-Levy, Assistant CEO Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Samoa)

  • Patrick Killoran, Owner, Banz Kofi (PNG)

  • Sarvesh Devan, Country Manager, Fiji and Pacific Islands, DHL (Germany)

  • Jacqueline Rajuai, Geo Program Manager, Google Plus Codes (United States)

  • Moderator: Bill Gain, Global Lead, Trade Facilitation, Customs Reform & Border Management, World Bank Group


Concluding remarks and next steps (12:20-12:30)

  • Zarak Khan, Director, Programmes and Initiatives, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Pacific Islands
Virtual Event
March 4th, 2022
Bring together policymakers, leading technology companies, and local MSMEs to discuss policy and technology solutions to Pacific Islands MSME pain points in ecommerce, and together develop ideas for new pilots and solutions
Policymakers, regulators, leading technology and ecommerce ecosystem companies
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Pacific Trade Invest
Target Audience
Program Type
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