Women & Trade - Economic Empowerment of Women in the Pacific (Papua New Guinea)
Status of initiative: Completed
Description/achievement of initiative

Women play a key role in Pacific economies. They however operate largely in the fragmented informal sector where the lack of organisation, management, quality orientation, and access to markets jeopardize their capacity to grow and develop their businesses; in turn undermining the region's potential to use trade as a driver of growth, employment and poverty reduction.The purpose of the partnership is to provide businesswomen with the capacity to capitalise on potential opportunities to participate in formal markets, and as a result increase the economic benefits businesswomen in the Pacific region derive from their participation in trade. This is expected to contribute to improved livelihoods and poverty reduction for Pacific women and their communities.Support to Papua New Guinea's women Bilum producers has high potential given the prevalence of women in the sector, the existing traditional knowledge for twisting Bilum, and the marketability of hand-twisted fabric in international markets due to its uniqueness and appeal.While current exports of Bilum is low and not well organised, there is a firm interest from identified buyers and designers to make in Papua New Guinea high-end products using the Bilum technique. The buyers have expressed an interest in being involved in helping women Bilum producers achieve the necessary level of quality. Thus, the producers will become partners instead of being subcontractors as is usually the case in the fashion industry even in the ethical segment, and greater value will be created and more importantly retained at the producer level.The partnership will implement a project developed with the support of Pacific Island Trade & Invest (PT&I) building on their existing initiatives in Papua New Guinea, and will also rely on the University of Goroka.

Implementation methodologies

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


International Trade Centre (ITC) World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Australian Government: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Government of Papua New Guinea Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC), Papua New Guinea Associations of Bilum producers in Papua New Guinea's highlands
International buyers are involved with women producers in developing their Bilum trade
Local support institutions/individuals are capable of providing business and export development services to the organised body and the women Bilum producers
Local organised bodies are capable of performing centralised operating services on behalf of women Bilum producers
Resources devoted to implementation
Staff / Technical expertise
In-kind contribution
Progress reports
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: 2016
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Vanessa Erogbogbo, erogbogbo@intracen.org

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