A high level regional policy dialogue was inaugurated at the November 2019 South Pacific central banking regional research conference in Port Vila. The purpose of the dialogue was to create an atmosphere that promotes spirited interaction among participants and helps policy makers fine-tune their own approaches as they apply the lessons and details of SPCCB-supported economic policy research on the region. Besides this specific immediate outcome, the dialogue was designed to improve the prospects for cooperative policy research between policy makers and researchers.

Led by Dr Parmendra Sharma, Dr Jen-Je Su and Associate Professor Tarlok Singh, SPCCB (South Pacific Centre for Central Banking) has been mentoring, coaching and guiding researchers from the central banks of PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu (Timor Leste from 2020) in rigor and evidenced-based policy research working papers. The issues cut across a broad spectrum, grouped into three main themes: macroeconomics, financial development and stability and economic resilience.

Two of the Griffith-central banks joint working papers were presented at the dialogue where invited participants included the central bank Governors and other senior staff, together with senior delegates from ADB, World Bank, IFC, IMF, RBA and RBNZ. These papers related to issues of monetary policy transmission and development of the region’s financial sector.

Governor Forau from the Central Bank of Solomon Islands said:

“It’s a great initiative and the first of it’s kind for the region”

“The initiative is the next critical step in the “research to policy” (R2P) aspirations of the region’s central banks”, explained Dr Sharma. Dr Sharma further noted that the R2P outcomes is increasingly becoming an important measure of the research environment at universities in Australia and elsewhere.