Delegates from across the Pacific Region gathered last week to deliberate on key economic regulation, fiscal reform and financial sector issues in the Pacific.

Attending the series of workshops held in Nadi, Fiji, were Pacific Islands Forum country representatives as well as representatives of the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre and consultant Dr Don Brash.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat-organized workshops were being held in response to specific mandates by Forum Economic and Trade Ministers.

The objectives of the workshop were to disseminate the findings of the study 'The Revenue Consequences of Trade Reform in Forum Island Countries' and discuss ways of implementing the recommendations of the report, including learning from country experiences in this area; and to disseminate information regarding the Secretariat's Forum Economic Ministers' Meeting (FEMM) mandated work on financial sector supervision and Offshore Finance Centres (OFCs) and discuss next steps with respect to the draft recommendations of these studies.

With respect to the study on the revenue consequences of trade reform, participants were advised that the expected outcome of the study was a better understanding of the macroeconomic and fiscal adjustments required at the national level.

This is to enable individual member countries, and the region, to maximise opportunities available under various possible trade liberalisation agreements. Participants were urged to use the study as a tool in assessing the actions necessary to implement trade agreements,

The draft outcomes of the study on 'Regional Options for Financial Sector Supervision in Forum Island Countries' were presented by the study's author, Dr Don Brash.

The study explored the possibility of regional options to address gaps in financial sector supervision at the national level in the Pacific region.

Dr Brash presented his draft conclusions, which determined that there was interest in a sub-regional approach in particular areas for some FICs, but a lack of interest in a wider regional approach. Participants were able to provide constructive feedback on these conclusions.

The draft outcomes of the study on ''Offshore Finance Centres in Forum Island Countries: Assessing the impact of the proposed US 'Stop Tax Haven Abuse' Act were presented by the Secretariat on behalf of the study's author, Dr Jason Sharman.