The Tokyo based Pacific Islands Centre (PIC), which promotes and facilitates trade from Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) countries into Japan and investment from Japan into PIF countries undertook several initiatives in the past couple of months.
PIC works closely with Pacific Trade Invest in achieving economic development objectives in PIF countries through offices in Auckland, Beijing, Geneva, Tokyo and Sydney.
Here are reports of recent activities:
24th Pacific Islanders Club Meeting
The 24th Pacific Islanders Club meeting was held at Meiji University Shikon-Kan with more than 100 participants on June 13.
In the first meeting session Dr. Izumi Kobayashi, Professor of Osaka Gakuin University, gave a lecture titled “Summary of PALM 8”. Since 1997, Japan has been hosting summit-level meetings every three years called Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM), where various issues concerning most Pacific Islands such as the challenges regarding their small size and relative isolation, distances from major international markets and the vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change are discussed threadbare.
In the second lecture Takayuki Hino of Fiji Airways made a presentation on in-flight service and flight information of Fiji Airways, which resumed direct flights for the first time in nine years from July 3. That was followed by an interview with PIC Tokyo’s Deputy Director about tourism and other information in Fiji.
The meeting session closed with a networking reception. The biggest topic of conversation was the resumption of direct flight services between Japan and Fiji by Fiji Airways.
It is expected that the exchange between Japan and the Pacific island countries will become more active than now, which will create an advantage in the fields of trade as well as tourism.
Investment Fiji visits PIC
Kamal Chetty, Investment Manager of Investment Fiji, Fiji’s nodal agency for foreign investment, and Ikue Toshinaga of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) visited PIC Tokyo and exchanged views on how to promote trade and investment between Fiji and Japan on June 5.
PIC stated that more aggressive entry into the Japanese market from Fiji as well as Japanese investment in Fiji would be expected because of the resumption of direct flights by Fiji Airways since July would boost business activities between Japan and the Pacific island countries.
Meiji University Liberty Academy Open Lecture
PIC collaborated with Meiji University Liberty Academy to host the Open Lecture of the 2018 Spring Term titled “The Current Status and Issues of International Cooperation in the Pacific Islands” at the Liberty Hall in the university’s Surugadai Campus on June 30.
Despite inclement weather, about 50 people participated and followed the lecture by Professor Hisao Sekine of the University of Tsukuba with great interest.
Referencing cultural backgrounds and economic issues in the Pacific island countries, Professor Sekine touched on such subjects as: “The meaning of being ‘rich’ in Pacific island countries”; “How should development and modernization in aiming for this ‘richness’ be positioned?”; and “What kind of attitude should Japan take?”