A Papua New Guinea business leader says the Pacific Islands Development Forum is significant because it gives private business a role in decision-making.
The inaugural gathering of the Fiji-led initiative is underway in Nadi and the the CEO of PNG's Manufacturing Council Chey Scovell says the plan is to come up with achievable development targets and not just rhetoric.
Business, civil society and governments are partners at the forum and Mr Scovell says they will build the meeting's final communique together.
"Businesses have an interest in wanting to continue to operate to sustain themselves. By having business people here, it's improved the likelihood of having strategies in place that businesses will accept."
Mr Scovell says the forum's make-up means there's a good check on decisions by the public sector.