PACIFIC POSSIBLE CONSULTATIONS OF CONCEPT

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1 PACIFIC POSSIBLE CONSULTATIONS OF CONCEPT Franz Drees-Gross, Country Director, Timor Leste, PNG and Pacific Islands Robert Utz, Program Leader, Timor Leste, PNG and Pacific Islands Venkatesh Sundararaman, Program Leader, Timor Leste, PNG and Pacific Islands

2 Why Pacific Possible?

3 Why Pacific Possible? Achieving higher economic growth and improved standards of living is a key challenge for the Pacific Remoteness, small size, and dispersion limit economic opportunities Manufacturing-based, export led growth not a feasible development model for most PICs Fully exploiting the more narrow set of economic growth opportunities is thus key

4 What is new? Pacific Plan, Pacific 2010 and Pacific 2020 offer wide coverage of development issues Thin capacity constrains implementation of wide reform agendas Focus on a few potentially transformative economic opportunities and challenges Seek to quantify the potential magnitude of these opportunities while managing a number of key risks that would otherwise undermine the development gains Long-term perspective and focus on linkages among issues Offer new ideas on development opportunities Based on the understanding that progress will require action not only by PICs, but also by developed and large countries in the region and by development partners A combination of advocacy on some issues and a stock take of others

5 Pacific Possible will not Provide a comprehensive assessment of all development issues Offer a regional or national development vision Provide operational action plans to realize opportunities

6 How will we do it? Currently consulting on focus before formulating a concept note Seeking wide partnerships especially with regional organizations and academic and research institutions Preserve independence by having other development partners engaged through consultations, peer review etc. but not joint authorship Once issues have been identified and agreed, commission back ground papers seeking collaboration of leading experts inside and outside the region

7 Timing Convene consultations on draft background papers (second half of 2015) Prepare overall Pacific Possible report (First half of 2016) Consultations on draft report (mid 2016) Dissemination (second half of 2016)

8 Six proposed themes Harnessing the Riches of the Pacific Ocean Islands in a Sea of Knowledge Labor Mobility Host to the World Managing increasing Stress on Pacific Livelihoods Working Together

9 Ocean Resources (1): Fisheries Oceanic and coastal fisheries central to many PIC economies Large revenue gains since introduction of Vessel Day Scheme Scope for further gains through improvements to VDS and expansion to long line fisheries, albacore, etc Options for enhancing employment and public-private partnerships require review Coastal fisheries important for subsistence and incomes as well as employment Scope for aquaculture Conservation issues and trade-offs important Managing revenue and avoiding resource curse critical

10 Ocean Resources (2): deep sea mining Several PICs issuing licenses most advanced in PNG with production possibly starting in 2018 Could be an important source of revenue, but also important concerns on environmental issues Adequate regulation of licensing, environmental impacts, taxation etc. important to avoid an unmanageable situation Stock take of current situation and prospective opportunities and challenges

11 Islands in a Sea of Knowledge Most PICs have invested in ICT and deregulated their telecoms sectors creating a favorable environment for moving into the knowledge economy (KE) ICT is a key enabler of the KE, and ICT applications can facilitate delivery of economic, social, government services to citizens (e-learning, e-health, e- government, e-money ) PICs can take advantage of the twin forces of globalization and technological advances to use knowledge better for economic and social development and overcome constraints imposed by distance But the KE is not just about ICT or high-tech industries -- rather than create an effective KE in the medium to long run, countries should develop an educated and skilled population, an efficient innovation system, a dynamic ICT sector, buttressed by an enabling economic and institutional environment (look at Finland, Ireland, Korea, Singapore ) Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship critical to developing new opportunities (Fiji water, Noni juice, Pure Fiji beauty products.)

12 Host to the World Tourism sector has performed below expectations in most Pacific Island countries Air access/cost major constraint for development of tourism sector Scope for diversifying source markets and tourism offers Tourists from China increasingly creating new opportunities and challenges Beyond tourism retirement domiciles, conferences, safe haven locations, diaspora

13 Labor Mobility Important element of Pacific livelihood strategies Countries facing different opportunities and challenges (Compact countries, Samoa and Tonga with well established diasporas, and countries with very limited access to labor mobility opportunities) Particular focus on atoll nations where climate change and sea level rise could reduce the carrying capacity of affected islands Strong evidence on triple wins from labor mobility but also political sensitivities, social issues, and concerns about brain drain Diasporas can create new opportunities beyond remittances and become important drivers of development

14 Managing increasing Stress on Pacific Livelihoods Natural disasters, climate change and rising sea levels Non-communicable diseases Changes to the social fabric of Pacific societies Pacific Possible would seek to quantify the impact of these threats on GDP Highlight strategies to mitigate threats

15 Working Together Working together is key to overcoming limitations arising from the small population size of PICs Working together with multiple partners other PICs, developed and large economies in the region Australia, New Zealand, US, China, Japan Democratic change in Fiji, economic strengthening of PNG, and emergence of non-traditional development partners such as Korea, Malaysia, India create new opportunities Pacific Possible will seek to quantify potential gains from working together in concrete ways (e.g., medical procurement) Pacific Possible will also seek to generate new ideas on opportunities for working together among the various stakeholders in the Pacific

16 Seeking Inputs on: Are we looking at the right issues? How can we make sure we add value? What are appropriate partnership arrangements? How can we coordinate with and support related work in the region?

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