FIJI will host the inaugural Trade Pasifika 2012 in Nadi in June.
With the theme - Exporting for Growth It's Everyone's Business - the expo is expected to showcase exhibitions from Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia.
A collaboration between Pacific Islands Private Sector (PIPSO), the United Nations Development Programme ù Pacific Centre, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and the Melanesia Spearhead Group, Trade Pasifika 2012 will be a meeting place providing networking opportunities for exhibitors.
Workshops on the progress of trade agreements, trade facilitation - customs, quarantine, trade financing and developing exports within and outside the region will also be held.
Trade Pasifika 2012 steering committee chairman Kaliopate Tavola said the expo was an excellent opportunity for the businesses in the region to participate and promote their products and services to potential customers within and outside the region.
The Pacific Trade Office in China has indicated that up to 20 Chinese buyers were interested in attending the inaugural Trade Pasifika 2012.
The main areas of their interest were in forestry, fisheries and agricultural products.
The exhibitors at the regional trade fair are from the 14 member countries, but organisers are working to also attract international buyers.
"We are very encouraged by the daily enquiries that we are receiving both from the international and the local business community. We are working with our partners to gain maximum benefit from Trade Pasifika 2012," said Mereia Volavola, chief executive officer, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO)
The Indonesian Embassy in Suva has also confirmed their involvement in the upcoming TP2012 and will bring Indonesian SMEs and buyers to this June event, being hosted in Denarau.
Another feature of the inaugural TP2012 is a Women in Business (WIB) pavilion.
The Ministry of Finance this week granted approval for duty concession for goods brought in by exhibitors from around the Pacific for the expo.
"We are very grateful for this support, and I am certain that this is an added incentive to exhibitors considering participating in the trade exhibition.
"At the same time, there is also funding support available for participation in this trade exhibition for PIPSO members and women in business. We are encouraging our members to come forward.
"Furthermore an attractive package is also available for buyers around the globe and it is an opportunity not to be missed."