Supporting the Private Sector to address NCDs in the Pacific

Pacific private sector representatives gathered at the Pacific Wave Forum 2018 from 6 – 7 August at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland to confront aspects of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which the private sector can effectively address to improve health and economic statistics across the region. Acting CEO of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), Fijian-born Alisi Tuqa, spoke to SPASIFIK about the role of the Private sector in addressing these issues.

 

 

Alisi feels as privileged as ever to be contributing to PIPSO’s vision of promoting and inspiring the growth of Pacific businesses as the acting CEO of PIPSO.

 

As a long-standing PIPSO staff member, Alisi has a wealth of experience in regional policy and planning research and analytical work, along with a passion for lobbying and advocacy.


“I’ve always worked at the regional level before PIPSO, not so much in private sector development work, but more in policy advocacy,” says Alisi.


“I’ve always had an interest in economic development more broadly.”


Working in a space where the primary goal is to advocate for and drive private sector-driven economic growth for the benefit of the region is fulfilling.


“You go home at the end of the day feeling good because you’ve done something for business,” she says.


“Even if it’s a small query, you know you’re contributing to something bigger”.


At the Pacific Wave Forum 2018, which took place from August 6 – 7, National Private Sector Organisations (NPSOs) gathered to talanoa (discuss) and prepare for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit in Nauru.


“The leaders have highlighted particular issues as priorities, one of them being NCDs, which we wanted to capture at the Forum, not only to other board members, but also to a wider membership,” says Alisi, who provided support to PIPSO’s chairperson Howard J. Politini throughout.


“We’re here as a regional organisation that serves a membership of the national private sector organisations in the region.”


PIPSO’s membership currently consists of the National Private Sector Organisations (NPSOs) of 15 Forum Island Countries (FICS), namely Fiji, the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


PIPSO acts as a clearing house for national private sector organisations to access resources and technical support or information.


As an intermediary between governments and businesses, Alisi says it is essential PIPSO is able to clearly communicate information and advice to agribusinesses.


In accordance to the Pacific Wave Forum’s agenda, Alisi says it’s vital for the private sector to be more involved.


“For us at PIPSO, it’s important to see where our corporate responsibility lies,” she says.


“Having high rates of NCDs impacts on the economy and the health system, adding to the burden on already struggling health infrastructures in these countries.


“It’s about ensuring we bring private sector to the table to talk with governments and considering where we can play a role, because a lot of the issues are outside of the health sector, it’s about behavioural change and what’s available for the private sector to see what the opportunities are in working and addressing NCDs in terms of business.”
 

 

About Pacific Cooperation Foundation


PCF is an independent partnership between public and private sectors in New Zealand and other Pacific Island countries which aims to strengthen partnerships in both the public and private sectors, sharing knowledge and expertise to promote prosperous businesses and communities in the Pacific.

 

For more information go to the PCF website.

 

14/08/18