Bridging a tiny island and China

As the crow flies, it’s not so far from Yap to China.  If there was a direct flight, it would be just a few hours.  But in many ways they are worlds apart. 

Yap’s Sebastian Tamagken is Pacific Exchange Officer at PT&I China

Yap, one of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), is a beautiful group of islands with only 7000 inhabitants, under-developed in economic terms but home to rich cultural heritage such as the famous“stone money” brought from Palau by canoe over centuries past.  China, of course, is the engine of the world economy and has massively developed including giant cities and world-leading infrastructure, benefiting its people but of course degrading its environment at the same time.

As a bridge between these two different worlds, PT&I China has brought Sebastian Tamagken to China for a three-month period as its first “Pacific Exchange Officer.”  The new programme aims to bring mid-senior level officials or industry representatives from the Pacific Islands to China, to work on specific projects to strengthen understanding, exchange and build platforms to support Pacific Islands economic development.

Sebastian is Chief of Media and Protocol for Yap’s State Governor, the Hon Tony Ganngiyan and the Governor kindly agreed to lend one of his right hand men to PT&I China for the exchange programme, with the hope it can help strengthen the links between Yap and China.

A graduate of China University of Political Science and Law, Sebastian is no stranger to China and was selected for this reason as someone who would be able to hit the ground running.  And indeed he has.  The former intern at the FSM Embassy in Beijing has assisted PT&I China in its 2017 outreach to Pacific Islands embassies in China on projects for regional cooperation in trade, investment and tourism.

Over his three-month attachment to the Beijing office, he will manage PT&I China’s enhanced Pacific media outreach, to help raise understanding of the China market and opportunities for Pacific Islands businesses.  He will also work with the PT&I China team to produce more Pacific stories for WeChat, the popular social media platform in China.

If you are doing business with China, Sebastian recommends Pacific Islands businesses get onto WeChat and use it to interact with clients.  You can follow PT&I’s WeChat account by scanning this QR code:

If you are interested in being the next Pacific Exchange Officer, which is earmarked for somebody from the tourism sector to help develop a China-Pacific Islands tourism strategy, please drop a line to PT&I’s Beijing-based Trade Commissioner: david.morris@pacifictradeinvest.org.cn

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