"All 20 Pacific countries are present," Yahya, also chairman of the 2019 Pacific Exposition Organizing Committee at the Sky City Convention Center Auckland, stated on Thursday.
Ambassador Yahya expressed gratitude to the Government of New Zealand and Australia for supporting this activity in addition to the presence of representatives from all countries of the Pacific that had enthusiastically come to Auckland to take part in this event.
"Hence, with the same geographic location, tradition, and culture, it would be good to collaborate, where one of the most interesting doors in the collaboration is the tourism sector since in future, it will become a large and sustainable foreign exchange earner," he pointed out.
"That is why I invited Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya to the 2019 Pacific Exposition Forum to create the Pacific momentum," he noted.
The 20 Pacific countries comprised Australia, Cook Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Island, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia.
The series of Pacific Exposition 2019 activities commenced with the holding of a seminar titled "Toward One Pacific Destination," attended by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday (July 11).
The first season began with a Tifa Dance, presented by six Indonesian children on stage, highlighting togetherness, cohesiveness, and unifying differences. The seminar participants were enthralled by the appearance of Tifa from Papua, one of the Melanesian tribes in Indonesia.