Merry Xmas to you all and I know that we are all looking forward to the festive time of the year.
It has now been six months since I started working at PT&I and it has gone very quickly indeed. It has been a time of working with a great new team of people and of focussing on assisting economic development across Pacific Island countries.
Our Path to Market programme took place in a total of 10 countries in 2016 and has resulted in PT&I engaging with about 150 businesses to which we have promoted New Zealand as an attractive country as an export destination for their products.
We have also provided information and support to enable them to successfully enter the export market to New Zealand in the future.
The PT&I Path to Market Programme involves a six-step process culminating in commercial entry to the New Zealand market for a number of businesses involved and it is an important step in our engagement with businesses wishing to enter the export market.
PT&I has also been involved with timber imports to New Zealand from the Solomon Islands. In particular, in support of the implementation of a sustainability certification process which is currently underway and, if successful, will result in the exported timber from the Solomon Islands receiving legal verification certification in the new year where currently no such certification is in place.
This should enhance customer acceptance of such timber in New Zealand and contribute to the growth of the Solomon Islands timber industry, as a result.
PT&I also hosted a trade mission from Fiji Agromarketing during the year and were of assistance in finding new customers in New Zealand for Fiji agricultural products which are exported to New Zealand and Australia.
Fiji had been badly effected by cyclone Winston in early 2016 and it is pleasing to see that crops are now getting back into full production.
So, after a busy six months for me, I want to wish you all a very merry Xmas and a relaxing holiday break and look forward to working with you in the new year.
Trade Development Manager