The Forum builds on and accelerates the projects and relationships that arise from Pacific Connect Workshops and Dialogues attended by Australian and Pacific Islaners held over the past year. The event is a great platform that further strengthens and expands the Pacific Connect Community network.
Held under the theme of ‘Australia-Pacific Connections for a Digital Future’, the Forum is attended by senior and influential delegates from government, business, academia and civil society in the Pacific and Australia. The 2018 Pacific Connect Forum was honoured to host the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Australian Minister for Defence, the Hon. Afamasaga Lepuia’i Rico Tupa’i, Minister for Communications and Information Technology of the Government of Samoa, and Michelle Rowland MP, Australian Shadow Minister for Communications, as keynote speakers.
Delegates consider the potential of innovative, digital technologies to drive sustainable development, create jobs and improve the lives of Pacific Islanders, while opening new market opportunities for Pacific and Australian businesses. At the 2018 Forum, it was acknowledged that there is a need for better digital literacy in the community and a balanced approach between short-term market opportunities and longer-term projects such as blockchain application. Increased digital and financial literacy, better payment methods and improved access to financial services will ameliorate development within the region, and the introduction of a central repository of Pacific data will better infrom public and private sector decision makers throughout the Pacific.