PTI NZ takes Path to Market to provincial Solomon Islands

For the very first time, Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand NZ is hosting one of two of its Pacific Path to Market workshops in Gizo in the Northern Province of the Solomon Islands.

Cocoa harvesting in the Solomon Islands. Hosting the workshops in the provinces helps PTI support programmes reach business owners outside of the main centre of the capital Honiara.

The first Pacific Path to Market workshop will be held in Honiara on 18 July followed by a second in Gizo on 19 July. The third workshop will be in Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila on 21 July.

The workshops are facilitated by PTI’s Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong and Trade & Investment Commissioner & CEO Michael Greenslade, in association with the in-country partners which are the Economic Development Agencies (EDA) — the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu Chambers of Commerce.

Mr Furlong said hosting a second Solomon Islands workshop in Gizo, Northern Province, was important because it allows PTI support programmes to reach business owners outside of the main centre of Honiara.

“It opens up opportunities for them to grow their businesses domestically and to look at expanding to New Zealand in the future,” Mr Furlong said.

PTI’s Pacific Path to Market workshops target new or existing exporters. They are designed to help identify potential exporters gain a better understanding of the New Zealand market. The workshop is an export capability programme combining a range of export facilitation services to help export ready and export capable businesses to enter New Zealand. The programme follows a series of methodical steps to get into the New Zealand market, starting with the workshops followed by an exploratory trade mission to New Zealand to apply their learnings, trial their products and packaging and introduce exporters to potential buyers.

Last year, PTI NZ held 10 workshops in the Pacific Islands identifying 25 companies from eight Pacific Island countries who were ready to take the next step in the Pacific Path to Market programme.  These selected companies were invited to attend this year’s long-established Auckland Pasifika Festival where approximately 60,000 visitors attend a two-day arts and cultural festival earlier in March.  The four-day Pacific Path to Market programme included attending the weekend festival, a Gap Analysis Workshop, a participant feedback session, field visits to relevant Auckland businesses and one-to-one business appointments held in speed dating format on the final day.

The Pacific Path to Market delegation to Pasifika Festival also included three Solomon Islands companies who were asked to be part of this year’s Path to Market delegation to Pasifika Festival 2017 in March. Participants included Diana Yates from Cathliro Commodities Development Limited, Liston Veni from Labuhila Coffee Growers Association and Bob Pollard and a team from Kokonut Pacific Limited.

Vanuatu’s delegation included Sandrine Wallez from Aelan Chocolates, Cornelia Wyllie from Fine Foods Ltd (Vanuatu) and John Mahit of Kava Du Pacific. They were joined by more than 20 other potential exporters from the Pacific Islands on the sales mission to Auckland in March.

For more information please email Ian Furlong, PTI Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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