AGENDA: Pacific High-Level Dialogue: Capacity Development and Growth (6-7 December, 2018)


8:30–9:00 a.m.


Registration/ Breakfast [Slideshow/Video on the History of PFTAC in the background]

9:00–9:02 a.m.


9:02–9:07 a.m.

Introduction, Odd Per Brekk, Deputy Director Asia Pacific Department, IMF

9:07–9:20 a.m.

Opening Remarks, Speaker to be Confirmed

9:20–9:35 a.m.

Introductory Speech, Carla Grasso, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

9:35-10:45 a.m.









Session 1—Growth Opportunities

How can Pacific Islands make the most of growth opportunities, improve potential growth and achieve the SDGs? The World Bank’s Pacific Possible highlighted sectors for the future. The IMF’s capacity development complements a focus on key sectors by providing advice on policy frameworks and creating fiscal space to pursue development goals.


The IMF and the SDGs Alison Stuart, Small States Division Chief, APD IMF


To be confirmed






Mr. Sili Epa Tuioti Minister of Finance, Samoa

Kolone Vaai, KVA Consult, Samoa

Robert Utz, Lead Economist and Program Leader for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions World Bank, Pacific Department, Sydney

Additional Panelist to be Confirmed

Second Additional Panelist to be Confirmed

10:45-11:15 a.m.

Coffee Break

11:15–12:15 p.m.

One-on One Conversation: Global Challenges, How Can the Pacific Attain a Better Future?

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Head of UNDP, Helen Clark, ONZ SSI PC

Moderator: Robin Harding, Financial Times Tokyo Bureau Chief

12:15-1:30 p.m.


 1:30-2:15 p.m.








Session 2—Risks and Vulnerabilities

Natural disasters and climate change complicate fiscal management. Debt has risen in some countries. Demographics and migration add to challenges. How can countries tackle challenges, build resilience to natural disasters and adapt to climate change


Results of the Pacific risk map survey (APD)


To be confirmed





Cristelle Pratt, Pacific Island Forum – PIFS Deputy Secretary General

Irena Asmundson, Chief Economist, California Department of Finance

Geoff Bertram, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

Additional Panelist to be Confirmed

 2: 15-3: 00pm








Session 3—Public Finances: A Historical Perspective and Future challenges

Pacific fiscal policy and institutions how they have evolved over 25 years. The journey of development in the Pacific since the early 1990s and the role that PFTAC has contributed. Where are we today? And what is the future direction of fiscal policies and institutions including Investing to reduce the Pacific infrastructure gap, adapting to climate change, maintaining debt sustainability, accessing climate change funds, and mobilizing revenues.

Historical Perspective


Matt Davies, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF





Anote Tong, Former President Kiribati

Garth Henderson, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Cook Islands

Luc Leruth, Former PFTAC and AFRITAC Coordinator

Siosiua (Josh) Utoikamanu, Former Tonga Reserve Bank Governor and Finance Minister

3:00-3:30 p.m

3:30-4:30 p.m. Future Challenges
Moderator Matt Davies, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF
Panel Devon Rowe, Executive Secretary of the Caribbean Center for Development Admiinstration and Former Jamaican Financial Secretary
Erica Gerreston from EU DG DEVCO
Visvanath Das, CEO, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS)
Additional Panelist to be Confirmed


Wrap up


9:00-10.30 a.m.


Session 1—Capacity Development at PFTAC and around the globe

How have PFTAC and the other centers helped build institutions, develop human capital and what are the lessons and failures. How have approaches changed? What are the lessons from success and failure? Effectiveness, collaboration and integration of CD with surveillance


Patrizia Tumbarello, IMF, Division Chief, Statistics Department 


Effectiveness of TA: Presenter to be Confirmed

Collaboration with Australian Bureau of Statistics: Presenter to be Confirmed

Experience with Capacity Development Delivery in the Pacific and Africa: Luc Leruth, former IMF PFTAC coordinator

Integrating Surveillance and Capacity Development, updating modes of delivery, increasing effectiveness, and collaboration


Roger Nord, IMF, Deputy Director, Institute for Capacity Development


Stephan Danninger Singapore Training Institute, Lorraine Seeto (Reserve Bank of Fiji)), Margaret Fitzgibbon former IMF Technical Assistance Advisor, PFTAC, plus three additional discussants to be confirmed

10:30-11:00 a.m.

Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 a.m.

Session 2—Financial Stability – Importance of Effective Governance in the Financial System.

Comprehensive and effective governance frameworks for both the private financial sector and regulators are vital for financial stability, as good governance promotes stable risk sensitive strategies, effective risk management, and protects against corruption.


Aditya Narain, Deputy Director Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF


Corporate governance and risk management for financial institutions, CRO Swedbank. Ms. Helo Meigas

Effective governance in Pacific, Presenter to be Confirmed


Presenters above

Three Panelists to be Confirmed

12:30-1:45 p.m.


 1:45-2:30 p.m.

Photographic competition schools and university students: presented by DMD Grasso

2:30-3:00 p.m.


3:00-4:15 p.m.

Session 3—Looking forward new technology

Can new technologies/digitalization be harnessed to help countries leapfrog, boost productivity, improve fiscal revenues, and promote financial inclusion and service efficiency. What new products and services are out there? Identification and regulation of the risks.


To be Confirmed


Nicholas Giurietto CEO & Managing Director Australian Digital Commerce Association

Joseph Thompson Aid Technology

Yan Liu, IMF, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Department

Plus up to Three Additional Panelists to be Confirmed

Part 1 New Technology Opportunities

What are biggest opportunities from digitalization in the Pacific?

What strategies should governments employ to adapt harness the benefits? 

Bali Fintech Agenda

Aditya Narain, Deputy Director Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF

Part 2 Identification and regulation of the risks

What do regulators see as the risks, how can the Pacific adapt? and how can PFTAC and development partners provide support?

Audience views on the biggest opportunities and obstacles 

4:15–4:30 p.m.

Closing Session: Five Questions for the Next 25 Years of PFTAC (Audience voting)


David Kloeden, PFTAC Coordinator