Putting the ‘P’ back in Asia Pacific Business Forum
<i>by Michael Greenslade, Trade Commissioner, PT&I NZ</i>
The importance of attending regional private sector events was brought home to me last week at the Asia Pacific Business Forum in Colombo, Sri Lanka.<!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_6640" align="aligncenter" width="320"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/PTI-NZ-APBF.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-6640" alt="PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade (extreme right) with members of the Sustainable Business Taskforce at the UNESCAP meet in Colombo last week" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/PTI-NZ-APBF.jpg" width="320" height="240" /></a> PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade (extreme right) with members of the Sustainable Business Taskforce at the UNESCAP meet in Colombo last week[/caption]
The Pacific has a low profile in Asia in terms of Trade presence. Our region is often wrongly narrowly defined as Australia and New Zealand -- something <b>Pacific Islands Trade & Invest</b> (<b>PT&I</b>) are systematically addressing by our membership and increasing participation in Asia Pacific bodies such as UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Cooperation) and its business advisory body EBAC (ESCAP Business Advisory Council).
It is our goal to increase Pacific based membership in such bodies. We also need to ensure the Pacific are actively represented on the advisory board’s Taskforce-driven projects with at least a virtual presence and, over time, to develop participation by our platinum clients throughout the Pacific in EBAC's Sustainable Business Network.
Discussion of the issues and indeed solutions highlight the need for collaboration as there are many similarities particularly as many of the Asian economies are also island economies.
The President of Maldives gave an excellent presentation on the economic impact of his country’s Guest House Programmme and the access that gave for grass roots participation in the Tourism Sector. There is indeed the opportunity for this sort of initiative to have wider adoption in our region. Renewable Energy partnerships and inward Investment in Tourism were also areas of common interest.
Our presence has been widely noticed and our wearing of Pacific shirts certainly highlighted our presence and in many ways helped change the thinking of many of the key speakers who deliberately modified their Asian centric views to include the Pacific Islands region in their presentations.
We worked on Kiwi time for much of the week which made for very long but extremely productive days, working all the time to put the Pacific back on the agenda in the Asia Pacific Business Forum.