When it comes to trade, each country has its own interest, but the good thing in trade is that even in sharing, it’s the interest that counts.
“You sell me what I don’t have or you sell me what I can buy cheap from your country. That is comparative advantage,” Faustin Mukela Luanga, Counsellor and Head of the Asia and Pacific Desk of the World Trade Organisation (W.T.O.) Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, said.
“Some are competitive advantage those are countries that can produce everything at a lower cost but international trade taught us that even in that context we always need others as a partner in terms of technology acquirement, technology transfers, skills transfer.
“These days we are living in a new paradigm when it comes to trade, we are observing what we call global supply chain, take for example an iPhone, it is still designed in America but is assembled and produced in China, and we have about 40 countries shipping components and parts to this factory.”
Mr. Luanga said for Pacific Islands to connect to that supply chain, they need to diversify their exports.
“Take for example fisheries, we know the big fisheries company comes from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, but what do you get from fisheries, can you start transforming fisheries here.
“For Pacific countries that may have fisheries as their key sector providing huge income, they can diversify within the supply chain of fisheries from the capturing to the transforming of that fish, to add value even to that chain of fisheries,” Mr. Luanga said.