Representatives from government, private sector partners and the ICT sector met today to discuss ways in improving the Digital Trade Standardization platform in Fiji.
Speaking at the one day workshop, Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Mr. Shaheen Ali said workshops like this are very timely to address issues such as protection of online transactions and information.
“Digital trade has become increasingly important in today’s economy as it offers many opportunities to overcome some of the traditional obstacles to trade.”
“Obstacles such as high cost of trade due to physical distance is often faced by countries like ours and the pacific. It opens up unprecedented opportunities for businesses to engage in cross-border trade.”
The change in the market place is significant, however Mr. Ali says we are only at the start of this revolution.
Mr Ali adds the World Trade Organisation (WTO) study found that by lowering costs and increasing productivity, digital technologies could boost trade by up to 34% by the year 2030.
“This could be a catalyst for growth and development in the future. But we cannot take these opportunities for granted. While it is clear that digital trade can unleash great potential, we also need to be aware of the challenges involved.”
“At present, not everybody can access the opportunities that digital trade presents. Big gaps persist. For example, connectivity is still a challenge. New technologies must be harnessed to address persistent challenges and inequalities – not exacerbate them.”
Australia's Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji Anne Dorney thanked the Fijian government for the opportunity to share information and knowledge on Digital Trade Standardization.
Organized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and Standard Australia, the workshop is aimed at improving Digital Environment and Digital trade in Fiji, trading opportunities and the challenges.