6th March 2013. Private Sector and Government representatives of three Small Island States namely, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu met in Fiji from 26th – 27th February 2013 to map out and plan country-specific partnership frameworks to support National Private Sector Organisations (NPSOs) and private sector development strategies. This partnership framework also includes PIPSO’s support for the NPSOs.
The two-day Sub-regional workshop was organised by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation and where UNDP-Pacific Centre and the South Pacific Community’s IACT Programme were invited to make presentations on the programmes that they will be undertaking for these small island states.
The workshop provided an opportunity for the representatives from these small islands states to have open and frank dialogue with their Government counterparts. Both sectors expressed their concerns and identified their respective roles and responsibilities in terms of national development. The sub-regional setting also allowed them to comfortably express their concerns and issues which are similarly shared by the countries in this grouping, unlike in regional meetings where their voices are hardly heard.
Discussions also highlighted that the smallness of these nations including the size of the private sector presents many challenges for private and public sector partnerships and decision makings. At times the private sector is seen as an opposition rather than a partner. The workshop encouraged understanding of each sector roles and how they can better engage at the country level.
The workshop was opened by PIPSO’s Board Member Epa Tuioti who reiterated PIPSO’s commitment to the capacity development of the NPSOs and stated that in order for development programmes to be undertaken by PIPSO and other development partners it is essential that a proper national private sector organisation is in place.
The NPSO will be the focal point for the private sector. PIPSO will provide capacity building support for NPSOs to ensure inclusivity of all the sectors in the economy, to be the credible voice for the private sector and support Government efforts in implementing strategies for private sector development.
PIPSO Chief Executive Officer, Mereia Volavola stated that these partnership frameworks have been developed according to the individual country’s needs which were discussed over the two days. PIPSO will be working closely with the NPSOs and Governments of these island states in the coming months to finalise these partnership frameworks.