Pacific nations to benefit from trade project

The European Union and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (U.N.C.T.A.D) recently launched a new project to better facilitate commercial trade across the Pacific. 

The project seeks to streamline customs clearance processes in the Pacific region and to generate efficiencies facilitating international trade.

According to a European Union statement, the project - titled “Improving Pacific Islands Customs and Trade” (I.M.P.A.C.T) - is worth EUR €10 million and seeks to optimise border and customs procedures of Pacific Island Countries, boosting the region’s economies by facilitating regional and international trade.

Countries like Samoa will benefit from the project and other beneficiaries of the project include the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The Ambassador of the European Union for the Pacific Sujiro Seam said during the launch of the project that the I.M.P.A.C.T. project is a key part of the Pacific Regional Integration Support Programme funded by the E.U. to facilitate and develop trade in the region and open new recovery paths from the negative socioeconomic impact of COVID-19.

“In partnership with U.N.C.T.A.D., the I.M.P.A.C.T. project will thus contribute to sustainable and inclusive prosperity in the region, which is the first area of focus of the new E.U. strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” Ambassador Seam said.

According to the statement, the project will benefit from U.N.C.T.A.D’s Automated System for Customs Data programme, which will facilitate regional and international trade by improving customs management software and facilitate trade.

The computerised customs management system that covers most foreign trade procedures.

The U.N.C.T.A.D Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant said during the launch that they appreciate working with the EU on increasing the pace of international trade in Pacific Island countries.

She added that the programme, as part of the I.M.P.A.C.T. project, can make a real difference to businesses in the region and accelerate socio-economic progress.

The project will support countries towards a faster and more efficient clearance processing. It will also foster closer cooperation via the electronic exchange of trade data and production of accurate trade statistics, the statement reads.

“Greater efficiency will boost trade and growth, as well as income, and having access to more data enables better decision-making. These are important ingredients for better outcomes for the economy and this is what we need in these challenging times,” Ms. Durant said.

According to the European Union statement, the I.M.P.A.C.T. project will also benefit micro, small and medium-sized enterprises by ensuring the consistent application of trade-related laws and regulations, resulting in more predictable costs.

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