Support for Office of the Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA)
New Zealand is providing funding over an initial three-year period (up to June 2013) to the OCTA to support Pacific Island Countries (PICs) negotiate an economic development and trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand, known as PACER Plus. Initially funded for a three year period with the possibility of further extensions, OCTA’s purpose is to provide advice and help coordinate, facilitate and represent PICs in relation to PACER Plus. For more information: http://www.octapic.org/
Support for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS)
PIFS is involved in providing economic advice and policy development assistance through regional mechanisms such as the Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting (FEMM) and the Forum Trade Ministers’ Meeting (FTMM). International trade issues have become a key focus of its Economic Governance Programme. Its contributions to trade policy and negotiations range from facilitating
Forum Island Country (FIC) participation in the WTO through the Office of the Forum Permanent Representation to the WTO in Geneva, to supporting FIC’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union. For more information: http://www.forumsec.org/
Mekong Institute in Thailand
This is an on-going project. The Mekong Institute (MI) was established in 1996 by the governments of NZ and Thailand to provide human resource development opportunities to government officials, private sector associations and academics from the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), specifically Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. To date, more than 3,876 alumni have attended courses in the thematic areas of: rural development; trade and investment facilitation; and human migration and care. The MI also aims to facilitate the development of policies and best practices that promote regional cooperation and integration. In 2011, there was a total of 41 full-time staff representing all six GMS countries and 6 foreign experts.
Reasons for implementing through triangular cooperation: Being located in the Mekong region and predominately governed and staffed by the GMS countries, MI has a strong Mekong identity and is not perceived as a donor-imposed initiative. The six GMS Governments recognise the value of MI and have established it as an Inter-Governmental Organisation. They have shown high levels of commitment to the ownership of the institute, including by making financial and in-kind contributions.
Budget: Approximately USD1.3 million/year. Although New Zealand still provides some funding (24% of total in 2011), the MI now has a broad funding base including from four of the six countries involved.