The 1st Pacific Exposition: Creating Pacific Momentum

The Indonesian government, supported by New Zealand and Australia, will organize a trade, investment, tourism, and cultural event called the 1st Pacific Exposition. It will be held at the Skycity Convention Center in Auckland, New Zealand, from 11 to 14 July 2019. The four-day event is designed to become the platform for Pacific countries to promote their economic potentials as well as to showcase their unique culture to the wider region. It is the first step towards a more integrated Pacific market and an initiative to improve connectivity and to facilitate the movement of goods and people across the Pacific region to increase business and investment opportunities and develop wider networks.

The 1st Pacific Exposition is scheduled to be officially opened by three foreign ministers of Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia and will be attended by twenty countries from the Pacific region. The expo comprises a series of events—namely, tourism, business and investment forums, business matchmaking, culture forum, art and culture exhibition, and a collaborative concert titled “Sound of the Pacific.” Dignitaries, academicians, practitioners, parliament members, and businesspeople are among those who will deliver presentations in the forums.

One of the most important events is the Pacific Culture Forum, which will gather experts, scholars, and government representatives to discuss the origins, traits, and identity of Pacific culture and explore ways to promote and safeguard distinctive cultural heritage. The culture forum is also intended to strengthen the cooperation among countries and numerous cultural groups throughout the eastern part of Indonesian archipelago to Kiribati, Tonga, and French Polynesia. This forum, together with the arts and cultural exhibition as well as the music concert, is being held with the hope that people will be aware of the beauty of Pacific and the potential it can offer. In addition, the forum will become a strategic stage for Pacific countries to share common interests and to promote the identity of Pacific culture in the global arena.

One specific session will be about intangible cultural heritage and aimed at raising awareness among governments of Pacific countries about the importance of the vital knowledge, practice, customs and skills that have value for the community. While participants of the forum are government delegations, it is also open to the public to promote discussion. Director General of Culture of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Mr. Hilmar Farid, will moderate the session at which there will be discussions on the possibility for countries in the Pacific to collectively submit UNESCO intangible cultural heritage nominations and identify related matters that need further follow-up.

In addition to that, other sessions in the Pacific Culture Forum will be about safeguarding underwater cultural heritage in the Pacific region as well as advancing a culture-based creative industry. The latter will provide alternatives to conventional economic development efforts, which are too dependent on natural resources.

The 1st Pacific Exposition is projected to draw the attention of 10,000 visitors who will be entertained with cultural performances from different countries across the region. Participation confirmation of private and state-owned enterprises as well as big and small businesses from pacific countries will also bring economic transaction of US$100 million. This number gives a promising future for the region and will enhance the development of the people in Pacific. The upcoming event in July will also be a time for the Pacific region to shine and to show the world the untapped potential waiting to be unfolded. This is the Pacific momentum