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Innovative Pacific Economic Symposium Set For NZ

21 MAY 2002

The inaugural Pacific Economic Symposium in New Zealand is taking place from 16-18 July at the Waipuna Lodge Auckland, with earlybird registrations closing next Friday May 31.

Organised by the Economic Development & Research Group (EDRG) in association with the Pacific Business Trust, the central thread for the forthcoming symposium is the Pacific Economy – defining its current state and its future possibilities. It consists of a mix of keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops based around current economic development issues faced by Pacific peoples.

The Economic Development & Research Group was established by the Pacific Business Trust in May 1998 with the objective of identifying strategies Pacific peoples can use to manage their own economic development.

The Symposium is the result of extensive research undertaken by the EDRG over the past five years.

Chairperson of the EDRG, Fijian-born business consultant Nancy Sheehan, says the symposium is expected to provide a watershed for the Group’s work to date, and will provide a benchmark vehicle to both consolidate and share the current understanding (both experience and knowledge) of the economic development experience in Pacific communities in New Zealand

A wide range of speakers has been invited, including representatives from government - both central and local, trade sectors, businesses owners, Pacific community leaders.

Keynote speakers include two highly-respected international business women: Canadian-based Cynthia Bertolin, Vice-Chairman of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board in Ottawa, Ontario and ex CEO of the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO), and Denise Aldous, General Manager South Pacific Project Facility (SPPF) based in Sydney.

Specialist local speakers include Hon Jim Anderton – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Economic Development, Hon Mark Gosche – Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Adrian Orr, Chief Economist, WestpacTrust, to name a few.

In addition, a range of qualified panelists has been gathered together to discuss such topics as “Leadership”, “Best Practice Partnerships” and “Trade”. The workshops on offer will provide practical advice on how “Research meets Practice” including “Pacific Art and Business Sustainability”, “Pacific Business Case Studies”, “Pacific Research Guidelines” and “Economic Development Models”.

“The programme is intended to both inspire and to educate,” says Nancy Sheehan.

“It is anticipated that this symposium will map out just how big and influential the Pacific Economy is – its influence here and offshore, but it will also highlight the commitment our people have to this region.”

Sponsors include Auckland University, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Industry NZ, Ministry of Economic Development and the Pacific Business Trust.

Additional information on the Pacific Economic Symposium can be obtained from the Pacific Business Trust on 09 270 1003.


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