Business market a successful event for participants

THE Path to Market program has helped many Pacific Islands businesses better understand the New Zealand market and assisted them in finding new buyers for their products.

This year the Pacific Trade and Invest New Zealand held the first Pasifika Business Market at the Pasifika Festival 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand where more than 35 small to medium businesses from 11 Pacific Island countries showcased their products.

A report from the PT&I NZ newsletter Pacific Periscope stated that the Pasifika Business Market offered a wide range of top notch Pacific brands and products unfamiliar to the New Zealand market.

“It is an exciting prospect to see how many Pacific Island businesses are export ready or almost export ready and their enthusiasm for entering the New Zealand market,” Pacific Trade Development manager Ian Furlong said.

“It’s great to see so many Pacific companies enthusiastic about entering the New Zealand market.

“This is a major opportunity for them to contribute to economic development in each of these countries,” he said.

Mr Furlong said the two-day event brought out thousands of visitors to the market and the Pacific Islands businesses had the chance to visit sector-wise businesses around Auckland as part of the program during the visitors’ stay in Auckland outside the Pasifika Festival.

According to the Pacific Periscope report, the program had the participants working through a series of seven stages, starting with an in-country Path to Market workshop, followed by invitation to the Pasifika Festival in Auckland for potential export ready companies, then a gap analysis, site visits and one-to-one business meetings for ongoing supply and partnerships.

It said the PTI NZ worked closely with the Economic Development Agencies (EDAs) such as the Chambers of Commerce or the Investment Promotion Authorities (IPAs) in each of the countries to identify potential exporters.

They also worked closely together with Lisa Siteine and her team at the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) team to ensure the first stand-alone pan- Pasifika Business Market’s success.

The Northern Pacific was represented by Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Marshall Islands bringing distinctive handicrafts to Pasifika.

Melanesia was represented by Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and for the first time French Polynesia, came from the Polynesian sub-region. The beginning of the new export journey for the Pacific has only just begun.