The Fiji government hopes this week's Pacific Islands Development Forum will cause a shift in power relations in the region.
East Timor's prime minister is due to address the gathering which opens today.
Sally Round reports from Fiji.
"The Fiji-instigated meeting of country leaders, business people and non government groups will focus on developing so-called green economies.It is Suva's response to Fiji's 2009 suspension from the long-established regional body, the Pacific Islands Forum which Fiji says is influenced too much by Australia and New Zealand. Leaders and ministers of 14 Pacific countries are represented including Nauru, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu. New Zealand and Australian diplomats are official observers at the meeting alongside representatives of China, Russia and Cuba. The three day event funded by China, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates has been branded by Fiji as empowering for Pacific people and a chance for them to make decisions rather than merely contribute."