REGIONAL policymakers, academics and development practitioners gather at at the University of South Pacific in Suva today for the 2016 Pacific Update Conference.
The event has been described as providing an opportunity for Pacific countries "to walk in tandem with the rest of the world".
For the next two days they will present research and discuss the latest economic and social developments in the region.
The conference is supported by the Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute, Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre and the University of South Pacific’s School of Economics.
The main topics include state-owned enterprises reform, linking tourism and agricultural development, disaster response and resilience, fisheries, labour mobility and migration, and climate change and disaster response financing.
USP’s School of Economics has also invited government officials, regional bodies, diplomats, business community, academics, students and members of the general public to participate.
The conference is held annually and last year more than 100 regional policymakers, academics, development practitioners and representatives from international organisations attended the event which was also held in Suva.
Last year, Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy, told participants that the conference assisted Pacific Island countries to “walk and work in tandem with the rest of the world.”
Photo: Dr Mahendra Reddy speaking at the official opening of the 2015 Pacific Conference at USP last year