Participants put PT&I workshops skills to use

Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) NZ conducted its Path to Market (P2M) Workshops in Pohnpei (which is one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia or FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

PT&I P2M workshop attendees pose for a picture during a break.
PT&I P2M workshop attendees pose for a picture during a break.

Thirty people, mostly small entrepreneurs and businesspersons running export-ready industries from the handicraft, processed food and apparel sectors, besides others attended.

P2M is PT&I’s export capability building programme that combines the range of export facilitation services and expertise provided by PT&I to help export ready and export capable businesses enter new export markets. The content of the workshops is specifically targeted at existing and new exporters giving further insights and overviews of getting products to market.

The programme is an extended business model that covers a series of methodical steps that are delivered in partnership by PT&I NZ and an Economic Development Agency in each country.

PT&I (NZ) Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade, COO and Head of Investment Manuel Valdez and Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong conducted the sessions in the two workshops. Topics covered included pricing, marketing and attracting investment into their countries, besides others.

Gienah Naruhnn, Executive Officer of the FSM Association of Chamber of Commerce in Pohnpei organised the ground preparation inviting the participants to attend the workshop and learn the practical and pragmatic ways of exporting the state’s major commodities to other countries.

Many of the participants got to apply their skills at the trade fair in Pohnpei
Many of the participants got to apply their skills at the trade fair in Pohnpei

Most of the participants who attended the P2M workshops also participated in the trade fair organised during the opening of the annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting, that was held in the same week in Pohnpei.

The trade fair presented an opportunity to the participants to apply the knowledge they had acquired at the workshops almost immediately. The First Lady of FSM was among the high profile customers who bought several garments at the fair.

Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade met the First Lady and he briefed her about the recent workshop and PT&I activities in FSM.

RMI’s Office of Commerce and Investment (OCI) and PT&I hosted the P2M Workshop at the Marshall Islands Resort Hotel, which was attended by 20 people including many representatives of businesses in RMI.

Michael Greenslade PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner greets Maurina Christian, First lady of FSM. Ms Christian bought garments at the trade fair.
Michael Greenslade PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner greets Maurina Christian, First lady of FSM. Ms Christian bought garments at the trade fair.

“It was an example of how OCI and PT&I are partnering to assist island businesses to consider opportunities and to become export ready,” Mr Valdez says.

Aside from offering advice for and examples of export success, the workshop also offered some practical help to those present.

Detailing one of these techniques, Mr Valdez said, “One of the most important skills for any business is to be able to successfully make a business ‘pitch’ to someone who knows nothing about your operation. It needs to be done briefly and succinctly. The skill is known as an ‘elevator pitch’ for it describes the ability to make a quick presentation in the time it takes an elevator to move between floors.”

PT&I also facilitates an online trade and investment portal that lists trade and investment opportunities by industry from 14 Pacific Island nations offering easy access to information on businesses in the region.

For more information email Ian Furlong, Trade Development Manager, PT&I, at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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