Trade Policy Development - NEW ZEALAND
The Mekong Institute (MI) is one example of the kinds of trade policy development projects that New Zealand provides funding to. This is an on-going project. The institute 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 6,186 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. As of March 2017, there was a total of 51 full-time staff representing all six GMS countries and 11 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 USD4.8 million in 2016 (from all sources). Although New Zealand still provides some funding (11% of total in 2016), the MI now has a broad funding base including from all six GMS countries involved.
New Zealand has provided funding for over seven years (up to December 2016) to the OCTA to support Pacific Island Countries (PICs) negotiate a trade and development agreement with Australia and New Zealand, PACER Plus. OCTA’s purpose was to provide advice and help coordinate, facilitate and represent PICs in relation to PACER Plus.
For more information: http://www.octapic.org/
PIFS is involved in coordinating economic advice and trade policy development assistance through regional mechanisms such as the annual Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting (FEMM) and the Special Meetings of Forum Trade Ministers (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/