Involve private sector in implementation consultations: Bajekal

Private sector organisations want to be involved in the design of the implementation plans of the newest regional agreement listed for endorsement by Pacific leaders today.

The private sector was one of stakeholders consulted in the design of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, deemed the ‘North Star’ of Pacific Regionalism, one of the items that the leaders will deliberate on when they meet behind closed doors at the Forum Secretariat in Suva.

Representing the private sector in a dialogue with Forum Leaders during the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Fiji’s capital city Suva this week, former Managing Director of FMF Foods Ltd Ram Bajekal (left in main photo) said they would like to make sure that the consultative momentum continues.

“I think the main emphasis was really about involving the private sector in the next steps,” Bajekal said.

“We were involved in the consultation but to make sure that that momentum carries forward and not just consult in that sense, but we would like to be part of the co-creation of the implementation plans and the policies, which means being up there in the design phase itself, rather than someone design it and then consult whether it’s alright.”

Involving all stakeholders in the implementation design from inception, Mr Bajekal says ensures that the strategy has higher ownership so too its success.

“The private sector was involved in the development of the strategy strategic plan. So now we’re saying that keep us involved in the next phase as well, which is the designing of the actual action plans and policies that will deliver on the strategy,” he said.

“The main thing is ensuring that there’s a seat at the table right from the design stage of the implementation plans and policy consultation.

“There’s a general recognition about the need and the fact that the private sector is really the engine for growth, and if the nations are to progress forward economically, they do need the private sector to be fully engaged and assist in the implementation towards the achievement of the vision.”

The implementation plan or deliberations to define how the new agreement will be implemented is expected to be discussed during the Forum Economic Minister’s meeting on 10-12 August in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

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