School of Economics

School of Economics

2016 Pacific Update Conference

“Inclusive growth for enhanced resilience”

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre,  and  The  University of the South Pacific (USP)  are  pleased  to  announce  that  the 2016 Pacific Update Conference was held on July 18-19, 2016, at The  University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji.

The Pacific Update Conference is the premier forum for discussing important issues of public policy in the Pacific. This annual event gathers policymakers, academics and researchers, business people, and development practitioners to present and discuss economic, political, and social developments in the region. Perspectives from multiple disciplines are encouraged.

Sessions of the two day Conference will be oriented around policy issues of pressing importance to countries in the Pacific region.  For example: 

  • Improving business environments in the region  
  • Assessing the costs of non-communicable diseases and designing responses 
  • Developments in migration and remittance flows and their socioeconomic effects 
  • Enhancing the benefits of new or enhanced internet connectivity   
  • Efforts to promote export supply chain and niche product market development   
  • Linking tourism and agricultural development  
  • Managing and sustaining fishing license fees and windfall revenues 
  • Pacific trust fund developments and performance  
  • Raising resilience to disasters and climate change 

2016 Pacific Update Conference - Abstracts

Click here to download the Abstracts from session presentations

2016 Pacific Update Conference - Bios of Session Chairs and Presenters

Click here to download the Bios of Session Chairs and Presenters

2016 Pacific Update Conference Final Programme

Click here to download the Final Programme

Click on the links below to follow the presentations from the Conference programme


Plenary Session 1: Welcoming Addresses and Opening Ceremony

  •  Introduction of Speakers

          Vijay Naidu, Acting Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics, USP 

          Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President, USP

  •  Opening Remarks

          Margaret Twomey, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji

  •  Keynote Address

          Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Fiji

Plenary Session 2: Regional Overview 

Emma Veve, Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Plenary Session 3: Fiji Outlook and Launch of the Fiji Country Diagnostics Study 

Bambang Susantono, Vice President for Knowledge Management, ADB

Parallel Session 1a: State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Reform 

Chair: Wawan Juswanto, Senior Economist, ADBI

Chris Russell, SOE & Governance Expert, Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) 

David Paul, Senator, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)

Sione  ‘Akau’ola, CEO for Public Enterprises, Ministry of Public Enterprises, Tonga

Kietau Tabwebweiti, National SOE Reform Specialist, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Kiribati


Parallel Session 1b: Tourism and Agricultural Development 

Chair: Roland Rajah, Country Economist for Vanuatu, ADB

Marcus Stephenson, Head of School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, USP 

Tim Martyn, Policy Officer, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation 

Sub-regional Office in the Pacific and Vili Caniogo, Policy Adviser (Agriculture),  

Land Resources Division, The Pacific Community (SPC)

David Freedman, Country Economist for Timor-Leste, ADB 

Chetan Shah, Senior Lecturer, Fiji National University  (FNU)


Parallel Session 1c: Disaster Response and Resilience

Chair: Rebecca McNaught, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Consultant

Eci K. Nabalarua, Dean of College of Humanities and Education, FNU

Dan Orcherton, Director, Centre for Sustainable Technology & Development, FNU

Tauisi Taupo,  PhD Candidate, Victoria University of Wellington


Parallel Session 2a: Climate Change and Disaster Response Financing 

Chair: Dan Orcherton, Director, Centre for Sustainable Technology & Development, FNU

Johannes Wolff, Economist (Public Finance), ADB 

Carola Betzold, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Antwerp 

Susana Taua’a, Head of Department of Social Sciences, National University of Samoa 

Stacy-ann Robinson, Ph.D. Scholar (Climate Change Adaptation), Australian National University (ANU) 

Parallel Session 2b: Private Sector Development

Chair: Chris Russell, Advisor, PSDI 

Ellen Milne, President, Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce 

Malcolm Bossley, Country Team Coordinator for Fiji, Market Development Facility

Anita Jowitt, Employer Representative, Vanuatu Tripartite Labor Advisory Council

Emmanuel Joseph Iyabora, Lecturer, University of Fiji


Parallel Session 2c: Managing Resource Rich Economies

Chair: Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, Resident Representative for Pacific Islands, IMF

Filipe Nery Bernardo, Acting Coordinator, Petroleum Fund Administration Unit, Ministry of Finance, Timor-Leste

Win Nicholas and Nelson Atip, Lecturers, University of PNG 

Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute

Paula Norris, International Development Consultant 


Stephen Howes, Director of the Development Policy Centre (DPC), ANU

Richard Curtain, Fellow, DPC, ANU

Jesse Doyle, Labor Migration Specialist, World Bank

Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director, DPC, ANU


Plenary Session 5: Renewable Energy  

Chair: Peter Johnston, Director, Environmental & Energy Consultants, Ltd

Bokhwan Yu, Deputy Dean, ADBI

Dallas Young, Commercial Manager, Rarotonga Electricity Authority, Cook Islands

Mafalu Lotolua, General Manager, Tuvalu Electricity Corporation

Anthony Garae, Director of the Dept. of Energy, Ministry of Climate Change, Vanuatu


Day 2

Parallel Session 3a: Labor Mobility and Migration 

Chair: Sunil Kumar, Senior Lecturer, USP

Gerson Jackson, Former Ambassador to Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)

Michael J. Levin, Independent Consultant

Patricia J. Kailola, A/CEO, Pacific Dialogue Limited 

Macnos Mutano, Junior Economic Affairs Officer, Office of the Chief Trade Adviser 


Parallel Session 3b: Roads and Transport Infrastructure 

Chair: Tess Newton Cain,  Principal, TNC Pacific Consulting

Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)

Christopher Edmonds, Senior Economist, ADB

Matthew Dornan, Deputy-Director, DPC, ANU

Setareki Macanawai, CEO, Pacific Disability Forum


Parallel Session 3c: Training the Next Generation of


Chair: Josh Utoikamanu, Consultant and Former Director, Pacific Island Center for Public Administration (PICPA)

Lekshmi N. Pillai, Executive Dean, School of Business & Public Policy, University of PNG

Fernando Baptista Anuno,  Dean of Faculty of Economics and Management, Timor-Leste National University (UNTL)

Peni Tawake, Program Officer, Pacific Leadership Program and Tarusila Bradburgh,  Secretariat Coordinator, Pacific Youth Council


Parallel Session 4a: Governance

Chair: Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director, DPC, ANU

Tess Newton Cain, Principal, TNC Pacific Consulting

Wawan Juswanto, Senior Economist, ADBI

Josh Utoikamanu, Consultant and Former Director, PICPA


Parallel Session 4b: Climate Change Adaptation and Education

Chair: Taniela Faletau, Safeguards Officer, ADB 

Hirdesh K. Sachan,  Head of Department of Crop Production, FNU

Tess Martin, Senior Lecturer, USP 

Morgan Wairiu, Deputy Director, Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, USP. 

Shipra Shah, Head of Department of Forestry,  FNU 


Parallel Session 4c: Regional Trade and Export Competitiveness 

Chair: Manoj Pandey, Lecturer, DPC, ANU

Veniana Qalo, Trade Policy Adviser, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS)

Wesley Morgan, Lecturer, USP

Benjamin Radoc, Advisor, ADB


Parallel Session 5a: Fisheries 

Chair: Ben Graham, Senior Evaluation Specialist, ADB

Moses Amos, Director, Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Marine Ecosystems, SPC

Quentin Hanich, Fisheries Governance Program Leader, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security 

Maria Carina Tinio, Associate Economics and Statistics Analyst, ADB


Parallel Session 5b: Labor Market Development and Remittances

Chair: Stephen Howes, Director of DPC, ANU

Andrew Parker, Principal Social Sector Economist, ADB 

T.K. Jayaraman, Professor, FNU 

Sunil Kumar, Senior Lecturer, USP 

Remittances: De-risking and Its Impact on Pacific Island Forum Countries

Raymond Prasad, Economic Advisers, PIFS


Parallel Session 5c: Sovereign Wealth and Public Trust Funds

Chair: Ellen Milne, President, Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce

Christopher Edmonds, Senior Economist, ADB 

Gerard Cruz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Asia Pacific Assoc. for Fiduciary Studies

Ross Fowler, Chief Executive Officer, fi360 Pacific

The New Nauru Trust Fund

Roland Rajah, Nauru Country Economist, ADB


Parallel Session 6a: Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Chair: Andrew Parker, Principal Social Sector Economist, ADB

Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President, USP

Emma Veve, Director, ADB 

Rhinehart Silas, Chairman, Palau National Telecommunications Commission 

Inacio Moreira, Vice Minister, Public Works, Transport, & Communication, Timor-Leste


Parallel Session 6b: Developments and Prospects in Fiji

Chair: Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute

Rukmani Gounder, Professor, Massey University

Rup Singh, Senior Lecturer, USP

Asaeli T. Tuibeqa, Development Manager, FNU


Parallel Session 6c: Health and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Chair: Rosalina Sa’aga-Banuve, Program Director, Fiji Health Sector Support Program (DFAT Australia)

Paula Vivili, Director of Public Health Division, SPC 

Masoud Mohammadnezhad, Associate Professor, FNU 

Ravi Ram, Independent Health Evaluation Consultant and Former Principal Advisor, SPC

Wayne Irava, Associate Professor, FNU and Idrish Khan, National Health Accounts Coordinator, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Fiji


Plenary Session 6: Closing Ceremony

Closing Address

Andie Fong Toy, Deputy Secretary General for Economic Governance and Security Programme, PIFS

Closing Statements from Co-sponsors

Emma Veve, Director, ADB 

Bokhwan Yu, Deputy Dean, ADBI

Stephen Howes, Director, DPC, ANU

Rajesh Chandra, Vice Chancellor and President, USP

Disclaimer & Copyright l Contact Us l 
© Copyright 1968 - 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Page updated: Thursday, March 29, 2018
School of Economics
Faculty of Business and Economics
The University of the South Pacific
Private Bag, Laucala Campus,
Suva, Fiji
Tel: (+679) 323 2547
Fax: (+679) 323 2522