Pacific women to the fore at export forum in Turkey


‘Private sector engagement with least developed countries (LDCs) for tourism-led growth and inclusive sustainable development’ was the theme for this year’s World Export Development Forum that was held in Istanbul, Turkey, last month.<!--more-->

The annual WEDF meet focuses on discussing innovations in export development and export competitiveness, helping share ideas among participants from all parts of the globe. Prominent participants this year included Dr Taleb Rifai, secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation, since this year’s theme had to do with tourism.

Louisa Sifakula, Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest New Zealand’s Senior Trade Manager, made a presentation on opportunities for women in the Pacific Islands to join the global tourism value chain at the ‘Engaging Women Vendors in the tourism Value Chain’ workshop.

“In my presentation I highlighted services and agribusiness as two key areas where there were opportunities to be explored further by women, and in particular, exploring opportunities to service the growing cruise market,” Ms Sifakula told Pacific Periscope.

This takes particular significance because New Zealand and Australia are the world’s fastest growing cruise markets with Carnival Cruises Australia reporting that 40% of nearly half a million Australian cruise holidaymakers go to the Pacific Islands.

Amanda Ellis, New Zealand’s Deputy Secretary, International Development Group (IDG), announced their engagement with cruise operators to build a public-private partnership integrating more local vendors in the Pacific Islands into their supply chain.

“Some elements discussed at the forum resonated well with the situation of the Pacific Islands,” Ms Sifakula said.

Brussels based Pacific Islands Forum Ambassador to the European Union Roy Mickey Joy spoke about how policymakers in Vanuatu had acknowledged the involvement of women and empowered them to become decision-makers and sit at the funding negotiation and allocation table.

Prominent Samoan NGO Women in Business was also represented at the WEDF.