Pacific-EU Business Forum Set To Discuss Regional Trade Issues

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2-day event to host 100 or so businesses in Port Vila

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 12, 2012) – A first ever Pacific–European Union (EU) business forum organized in collaboration with PIPSO (Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization) and the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu, with the support of the ACP Business Climate facility (BizClim) is to take place in Port Vila on the 11-12 June. The forum will provide opportunities for entrepreneurs from both regions to discuss and forge partnerships and make their views known.

The Forum will create awareness about the Pacific – EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the opportunities it provides for private sector development and growth. There is untapped potential to increase economic inter- action between Europe and the Pacific. European countries and 14 Pacific ACP States have pinned their hopes on a new EU-Pacific EPA that will bring together two regions and go beyond the current, sometimes limited, trading arrangements for Pacific goods and services entering the European Union.

In order to reap the benefits of any enhanced cooperation framework between Europe and the Pacific region, traders and investors need clear, stable and transparent rules by which to do business. Simplifying and harmonizing rules across an economic area will make business prospects even more attractive.

The organization of a first Pacific-EU Business Forum, on the fringes of the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers meeting, will provide business representatives an unrivalled opportunity to voice their concerns, hopes and aspirations. Business driven reforms need to boost the business climate and prospects for enhanced cooperation between European and Pacific businesses.

The Forum will take the form of a two-day event targeting private sector development, bringing together about 100 businesses from the Pacific and European regions. They are expected to set the foundations for future for a where It is envisaged that activities, like study tours and a Pacific Expo will provide Pacific and EU businesses with the opportunity to engage with potential clients, investors, distributors and partners from Europe and the Pacific. In doing so, the Forum will mark an important milestone to also support and encourage Pacific economic integration.

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