Excellency Mr. Minute Taupo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries & Trade, Government of Tuvalu,
Excellencies, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you to this launch of the Tuvalu National Trade Development Strategy 2022-2026
At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Government of Tuvalu for undertaking the preparation and finalization of this Strategy.
Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, member States in the Asia-Pacific have been focused on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
International trade and its related policies and strategies remain as one of the critical enablers.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in the region have been impacted severely, especially related to their socio-economic development and prospects.
Disruptions in trade and value chain have been one of the defining features that triggered continued pressure on accessing the life savings drugs as well as basic food items for people, including in the Pacific SIDS.
Overcoming this pandemic-induced supply chain crisis and its impacts on trade flows have been a great concern for nations like Tuvalu and other SIDS in the Pacific.
Ensuring a smooth recovery, trade can continue to play an important role in securing goods and services for the people and businesses.
With the ongoing climate emergencies, Tuvalu, like other Pacific communities are witnessing severe impact of frequent natural disasters, causing immense socio-economic loss and steady displacement.
In view of this, The Strategy provides a critical tool to develop a sustainable commercial fishery to optimize revenue from its waters and explore Tuvalu’s eco-tourism potential.
Furthermore, the Strategy is expected to bring tangible gains from trade in services, labour mobility schemes and e-commerce.
This Strategy also presents a set of practical recommendations on the workforce, the infrastructure and the regulatory framework to promote engagement with business and investment over the next five years.
I am pleased to know that the Strategy will further contribute Tuvalu’s Te Kete - National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Department of Trade, Ministry of Fisheries & Trade of Tuvalu for their continued leadership and commitment to develop the Strategy.
I am also thankful to our partner the Enhanced Integrated Framework and other regional and subregional development partners, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Tourism Organisation for their excellent engagement in facilitating this initiative.
I am confident that Tuvalu is well positioned to leverage trade in transforming its economies and societies while advancing the 2030 Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway.
ESCAP, along with the UN system and partners, stands ready to supporting the implementation of this National Trade Development Strategy in Tuvalu.