Beddoes happy with forum results

Saturday June 02, 2018 Written by Published in Economy
Pacifi c Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) board chairman Damien Beddoes pictured at this week’s meeting. 18060127 Pacifi c Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) board chairman Damien Beddoes pictured at this week’s meeting. 18060127

Damien Beddoes, the chairman of the Pacific Islands Investment Forum (PIIF) board, is delighted with the outcomes of the meeting for chief executive officers (CEOs) held earlier this week at the National Auditorium.

 

The three-day meeting which started on Monday, was attended by 20 CEOs from 20 funds from across 14 countries in the region in attendance.

The forum was officially closed on Wednesday by Beddoes, who is also chief executive for the Cook Islands National Superannuation Fund.

During the meeting, the fund heads worked through the establishment of the region’s largest investment organisation, set out the objectives for the education needs of the funds for the next 12 months, addressed issues relating to carbon investments and insurance needs, and drilled down into the telecommunications and banking and finance sectors in the Pacific.

Beddoes, who is credited by many of the international partners and CEOs for the evolution and expansion of the PIIF to include all the investment schemes across the Pacific, said they had a strong momentum now to work together for the benefit of their stakeholders. 

“With size comes benefits, benefits at a group and individual level, from the sharing of knowledge and resource to improved buying power and fee negotiation.”

During the three days of the forum, the members expressed a strong desire to co-invest in infrastructure across the Pacific, due to the long-term nature of the investment and the consistent returns, Beddoes said.

“The CINSF does not hold any investments inside the Cook Islands, and amongst the reasons for that is the lack of liquidity in such investments, however through the PIIF, liquidity can be improved with the buying and selling of equity amongst the Forum members.

“We have been approached to consider this with Forum members that are willing to invest in the Cook Islands.”

On the final day of the meeting, Beddoes outlined expectations that the Fiji National Provident Fund would continue to work with Amalgamated Telecom Holdings to develop regional investment plans.

He said the forum also expected the Asian Development Bank to complete work alongside the investment committee in an assessment of the banking and finance industry in the Pacific.

Beddoes asked the forum working group to meet quarterly targets over the next year to ensure the hurdles to co-investment across the Pacific, such as double taxation and regulations, were addressed to clear the way for the movement of funds.

He thanked the Cook Islands government and Bluesky Cook Islands for their support in hosting the forum as well as the CEOs for their 100 per cent turnout to launch the new Pacific Islands Investment Forum.

The next forum meeting will be held in Samoa in 2019.

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