Arlington, VA – U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Enoh T. Ebong will travel to Fiji from February 11-14 to host the Agency’s first in-person workshop in the Pacific Islands and meet with USTDA grantees, regional partners, and government, private sector, and international finance representatives. Director Ebong’s travel will advance the Agency’s current and future programming in support of the Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative (PIII), which President Biden tasked the Agency to lead in September 2022.
“President Biden has elevated broader and deeper engagement with the Pacific Islands as a U.S. foreign policy priority. This visit to Fiji is an opportunity for USTDA to highlight the concrete action we are taking to build partnerships that lead to high-quality, sustainable infrastructure across the region,” said Director Ebong. “USTDA programming in the Pacific Island countries reflects the priorities that our local partners have established. USTDA is proud to bring U.S. private sector innovation, solutions and technologies to help meet these priorities through the infrastructure projects that we support.”
On February 13, Director Ebong will open a two-day workshop hosted by USTDA, in partnership with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, on mitigating the negative impacts of natural disasters on aviation infrastructure in the Pacific Islands. The workshop will convene government and private-sector stakeholders from the United States and 8 Pacific Island countries under the auspices of USTDA’s U.S.-Southeast Asia and Pacific Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP), a public-private partnership that works with aviation stakeholders in the region to design programs that promote civil aviation cooperation. More information on the workshop is available at https://www.ustda.gov/events/.
While in Fiji, Director Ebong will also meet with local and regional project sponsors to advance the development of subsea fiber optic cables, ports, and climate-smart infrastructure projects.
Since the launch of PIII in 2022, USTDA’s bilateral and regional engagement with Fiji includes the following:
- In November 2023, USTDA hosted a reverse trade mission for port officials from five Pacific Island countries to identify technologies and best practices for strengthening the efficiency and climate resilience of port infrastructure.
- In October 2023, USTDA funded a feasibility study to support the development of a 15,900-kilometer subsea cable between Guam and American Samoa that will provide new or expanded high-speed connectivity to approximately 400,000 people in 12 Pacific Island countries, including Fiji, and overseas territories in between.
- In May 2023, USTDA awarded a feasibility study grant to Fiji’s Ministry of Finance to support the development of up to 75 solar-powered mini-grids with energy storage. The project will support Fiji’s dual goals of 100% rural electrification and renewable power generation by 2036, powering some of Fiji’s most isolated island populations.
- In March 2023, USTDA hosted a virtual ACP workshop on unmanned aerial system delivery services for the Pacific Islands to explore the benefits and uses of drone technology to deliver healthcare and other supplies to remote locations.
- In January 2023, USTDA’s Global Procurement Initiative (GPI) launched public procurement training for six Pacific Island partner countries to support high-quality infrastructure development that gets governments the best value for their money.
- In January 2023, USTDA issued a call for proposals that resulted in the submission of more than 80 proposals for USTDA support.
- In November 2022, in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration, a USTDA reverse trade mission brought a regional delegation to the United States under the ACP to support modernization and strengthening of airport checkpoint security screening.
USTDA’s work in Fiji joins other programming in the Indo-Pacific region that advances the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the goals of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, as well as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
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