Pacific Islands Trade & Invest - Quarterly News
Vol 4., Oct 2012 Inside... ~ From the helm : Our year continues .........(Page 3) ~ Ports of call ........................................................(Page 6) • • • •
Can growing local go global PT&I showcases Pacific products at Fine Foods expo PNG Coffee takes centre stage at China Ag fair PT&I participates in Trade Pasifika 2012
- PT&I Projects......................................................(Page9) ~ News from the decks .....................................(Page 13)
Who we are Pacific Islands Trade & Invest is the international trade and investment promotion arm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) based in Fiji.
What we do Our offices in Auckland, Sydney, Beijing and Tokyo work with exporters from the Pacific Islands to promote their products and services as well as attract investment to Pacific Islands businesses.
We do this by:
• • • • • • •
Developing export-capable businesses Promoting and connecting export-ready businesses Connecting exporters with international buyers Facilitating the marketing of niche Pacific Island tourism services & products Introducing potential investors to the Pacific Islands Providing promotional support, networks and technical expertise Facilitating shared understanding between markets
Contributors: Manuel Valdez, Joe Fuavao, Eleanor Ikinofo, Mona Mato, Louisa Sifakula and Dev Nadkarni Copyright:
Pacific Islands Trade & Invest 2011
Our year continues The offices of PT&I continue to be busy working in export, investment and tourism. In September, we completed the Aquaponics project in Rarotonga. In Partnership with local businesswomen, Wilson Lennard PhD, the New Zealand Government and the Cook Islands Government the project has been nothing but an outstanding success. Itâ€™s a great example of good relationship and stakeholder management skills and putting the heads together of people with a focused goal. Aquaponics has proven itself to be an outstanding growing system that the world is rapidly standing up to notice. It improves yield and reduces environmental impacts. It addresses many of the growing issues the Pacific have given us feedback on. I think I have said in writing in the past that it would be irresponsible for anyone to grow anything in the Pacific without examining this concept. The project achieved a number of milestones in partnership, speed of delivery and sustainability. It is financially viable, and has almost no environmental impact. I know those that have managed to see it have been blown away but its potential and its presentation. It is a uniquely Pacific project and discussions are now underway on how the Pacific
might take advantage of this technology. PT&I finished another outstanding year at Fine Foods 2012 in Melbourne. The results are really starting to highlight how well targeted and managed tradeshow development and involvement can benefit companies and their export plans. Equally it highlights the costly failure of poorly managed events.
doing with exporters and businesses on a daily basis: the core component of our work. As a last addition we announce the release of our latest research documents for trade opportunities for the Pacific. Joe Fuavao has done some intense and deep research and I would encourage everyone to download their free copies when they become available on the PT&I website. We hope to bring you more of these next year.
Tourism continues to lead the way as the fundamental growth industry for the Pacific with many countries showing year on year growth. With niche tourism My best wishes to you all. programs in Fishing, Sailing, Windsurfing and online Promotion the results are really starting to show. PT&I is having good success in these areas finding a Adam Denniss good position in the market where it can add value to national tourism campaigns. Trade Commissioner Watch for more in this space. Samoa hosted its first investment conference. Targeting the correct audience in these events is always hard and only the brave take on the challenge â€“ our compliments and congratulations to Samoa for leading the way. Any nation from the Pacific wanting to be proactive around its growth and advertising itself should be supported, in our mind. We were happy to help with the developing of Samoaâ€™s investment opportunities booklet. You will also start to notice our involvement in trade updates on countries and some of the work we are
From the Helm
Visitors throng the aquaponics project in Rarotonga after its inauguration in August.
Region’s first scientific aquaponics facility opens The region’s first scientifically designed aquaponics systems opened in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands in August. Spearheaded by PT&I and co-funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme, a set of three aquaponics systems designed by Melbourne scientist Wilson Lennard, PhD, were inaugurated in the week of the Pacific Islands Forum Summit. Aquaponics uses highly nutritious fish water that contains almost all of the required natural elements for optimum plant growth, therefore eliminating the need for chemical additives for growing the plants. Combining the best features of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponics addresses the region’s food growing challenges and the general food security situation more efficiently than any other agricultural method. The basic
science behind this technology is an effective balance of fish waste release to plant nutrient uptake.
Describing the project as “tremendous” while inaugurating the facility formally, Murray MuCully, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the media, “We need to make sure import substitution is given a better opportunity. This is a classic opportunity. These crops are healthy and very high quality.”
PT&I New Zealand Trade Commissioner Adam Denniss and Dr Lennard have worked together for two years on the systems’ design to suit Pacific Island practicalities. The Pacific is the first to see and use this leading research fine-tuned Cook Islands Agriculture Minister Nandi over 12 years. Glassie said, “This project serves as a model for Pacific Island Countries, and it The project also involves two provides an education and it provides an businesswomen in Rarotonga who have education and training opportunity.” been technically trained by Dr Lennard and PT&I to run the aquaponics facility. Aquaponics is an innovative, sustainable, Their company Te Raurau o te Kaingavai environmentally friendly and scientifically has already begun harvesting the produce proven food growing technology that is and supplying it to local customers also commercially viable. Being a closed including the hospitality sector. Some 21 system, it releases no wastewater into varieties of vegetables, herbs and even the environment and any loss of water tomatoes and strawberries are growing at from the system by transpiration or the facility. evaporation can be topped with stored
Murray McCully, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs who inaugurated the facility described the project as “tremendous” and said “the crops are healthy and of a high quality.”
PT&I’s Team Aquaponics after the inauguration: Adam Denniss, Dev Nadkarni, Manuel Valdez and Dr Wilson Lennard
Almost anything can grow in aquaponic systems. The technique is especially suited to high demand, fast-growing nutritional crops like herbs, leafy greens and fruiting plants.
rainwater, thereby with no dependence on a piped water source. Plant nutrients come from fish, eliminating the need for fertilsers and sprays. “Rarely do we find growing techniques that increase yield without having some negative impact such as increased land clearing or chemical use. None of this is the case with aquaponics,” says Dr Lennard.
The technique addresses soil erosion, freshwater shortage, productivity issues, environmental impact and tackles many of the existing biohazard issues within the Pacific’s agricultural export industry related to soil. It uses no herbicides, pesticides or hormones and it utilises 100% of the nutrients added, which makes it exceptionally efficient.
Trade Commissioner Adam Denniss says, “Show me a growing solution that improves yield without clearing more land, gives me a protein and vegetable crop, uses 90% less water is environmentally sustainable and economically viable whilst reducing the need for expensive fertilisers and I’m happy to look at it. Until then, I believe this may be a solution.” This first scientific aquaponics system in the Pacific has stirred great interest around the region.
Can growing local go global?
PT&I definitely thinks so. Over the past couple of years, the Cook Islands Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB) has been running a successful campaign called ‘Go Local’ to promote the country’s domestic products thereby encouraging import substitution. The idea is primarily to promote and raise the profile of Cook Islands made products and produce. The campaign has done well thanks to good media exposure domestically. BTIB now thinks the country is ready to move to the next step at developing a national export brand. This is where PT&I has stepped in to help make this happen by finding a brand specialist to assist
ports of call
develop an all new ‘Made in the Cook Islands’ or ‘Product of the Cook Islands’ logo. PT&I is currently in discussions with BTIB to assist with the ‘Made in the Cook Islands’/ ‘Product of the Cook Islands’ logo. The idea is to raise the profile of Cook Islands made products and produce from the go local campaign to the international market through a national branding strategy. Included in this is the development of a logo and some underlying parameters. “If we strengthen our domestic market base through with our go local campaign, we will be able to also develop a marketable ‘Made in the Cook Islands’ or
‘Product of the Cook Islands’ brand,” says BTIB Chief Executive Terry Rangi. “For our export market this is an area where we would like to see some assistance from PT&I. We see some merit in linking this logo with our exported products such as our handicrafts, pawpaw, coconut oils, clothing and so forth,” he adds. This could well to be a two pronged strategy aimed at reducing the trade deficit, particularly between the Cook Islands and its trading partners: While promoting import substitution effectively reducing the import bill, it also aims at exports – earning valuable foreign exchange.
PT&I showcases Pacific products at Fine Foods expo Eddie Wilson, Managing Director, Wilex Samoa, which exports chocolate and cocoa from Samoa said, “I am amazed at the potential and opportunities available at this show. I’ve had two companies come to me that want to have JV arrangements with my chocolate company in Samoa.” “I did not appreciate what such a show could do to my business until I totally reassessed how precious my involvement has been at this show…. this allowed me to look at the Asian market also.” said Jackie Wood, of Ethica Coffee, PNG. “I will definitely recommend this to other Pacific enterprises.” Red hot: Hot Samoan Boys range of sauces was a hit with visitors to the Pacific Islands booth (pictured below) at the Fine Foods 2012 show in Melbourne.
Fine Foods is the largest gathering of food and drink product for international retail, foodservice and hospitality industries. Fine Foods Australia, held in early September in Melbourne, has cemented its reputation as Australia’s only truly international event for the food and beverage industry. This was the second year that PT&I participated with a Pacific pavilion at the event, following last year’s successful inaugural participation. The Pacific Islands stand this year comprised 11 exhibitors showcasing a range of products from Vanilla, Virgin Coconut Oil, Coffee, Chocolate and Cacao Nibs. Participating companies and entrepreneurs from around the Pacific Islands region included Ian Jones, Taste of Tonga (Coconut Oil) of Tonga; Jacqui Wood, Ethica Coffee, from PNG; Theresa Areq, Amruqa, PNG (Coconut Oil); Eddie Wilson, Wilex Samoa, (Cacao Nibs, Hot chocolate); Jennifer Boggiss, Heilala Vanilla, (Vanilla Extract, Paste, Syrup, Sugar & Beans), Tonga; Peni Drodrolagi, Origins Pacific (Fiji Mana Brand Virgin Coconut Oil), Fiji; Piero Biianchessi,
Venui Vanilla, Vanuatu; Stella Muller, Hot Samoan Boys Chili, Hot Chilli Sauce, Samoa; Dan & Richard Etherington, Kokonut Pacific (Coconut Oil), Solomon Islands; Stanley Kalauni, Niue Organic (Vanilla), Niue and Terry Adlington, Tanna Coffee, Vanuatu.
Thanking PT&I’s efforts at facilitating participation at the show, Stella Muller of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauces of Samoa said, “It has been the single most successful trade event to date, that we have been a part of. We now have two companies in Australia who have expressed interest to be our distributors in Australia.”
Outcomes from the participation at the show include new distribution agreements being put in place for Pacific Island companies who had not previously exported to Australia, orders being taken and sales made for over A$34,000 over the course of the 4 days and each exhibitor had a number of leads to follow up after the show had finished. For many participants this is one of the biggest platforms on which to showcase their wares. “I am impressed at this showcase and to see the calibre of fine food enterprises and cuisine showcased by the hospitality service industry. I’d like to encourage Pacific enterprises in the agro-processing industries in the Pacific to make every effort to work with PT&I Auckland and Sydney to be part of future shows,” said.
The participants were appreciative of the role that IACT (Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade) programme and Chris Cocker, IACT Export Marketing Officer, played in their participation at this high profile show and event. PT&I in conjunction with SPC-IACT will again host Pacific Island exporters at next year’s Fine Food Australia from 9-12th September 2013 in Sydney, Australia.
ports of call
PNG coffee takes centre stage at China Ag fair Papua New Guinea took centre stage at the popular 10th China Agriculture Trade Fair, September 27-30, which attracted more than 30,000 visitors from all over the globe.
the younger generation in China”, says Pacific Trade Commissioner in Beijing, Sam Savou.
said the exports earn 460 million kina annually for PNG, of which 70% goes to households who farm and produce the beans. Coffee is PNG’s biggest agriculture seller, ahead of coconut, cocoa, palm oil and rubber.
Through PT&I other small islands countries could also reap benefits from displays in Beijing, says Leka-Maliaki. She With coffee being the largest agricultural hopes more island governments would produce of PNG, IPA’s campaign is to go take the initiative in future as the world is Promoted through the Beijing office of into China “in a big way”. IPA’s Julienne embracing China for market prospects. PT&I and PNG’s Investment Promotion Leka-Maliaki says while it takes a lot to win Authority (IPA), 10 coffee companies a market like China, the Pacific islands went head-to-head with over 2000 have an opportunity that has become exhibitors from 20 other countries selling available. up to 3000 agriculture products. Coffee is PNG’s champion as it already “Led by international brands, Starbucks enjoys lucrative markets in Australia, the and Costa, and international investments United States, Germany and Japan. The from New Zealand such as Café Flat PNG Coffee Industry Corporation – a White that have also established their merger of PNG Coffee Industry Board, own chain of coffee shops, there is a big Coffee Development Agency and Coffee growth in coffee shops particularly with Research Institute - in a 2012 survey
PT&I participates in Trade Pasifika 2012
Stanley Kalauni, Managing Director of Niue Vanilla International at the Trade Pasifika booth.
Regional trade expo Trade Pasifika 2012 was held in Fiji between June 25 and 27 in Nadi, Fiji. The event provides opportunities to Pacific businesses to showcase their products and services to potential buyers and customers from within and outside the Pacific region and to also engage with trade specialists. PT&I participated in the expo with Teremoana Mato (Export Services Manager – Auckland), Sam Savou (Trade Commissioner from China), Jeremy Goodwin (Export Services Manager – Sydney) and Robyn Ekstrom (Trade Promotion Adviser from the Geneva Office). A number of seminar-type workshops
ports of call
ran parallel with the event. In one of these However, they put their participation themed ‘Improving your Market Access’, at the event to good use in testing the four PT&I team members participated as market with their products. panelists. While in Fiji, Jeremy and Mona also met The sessions dealt with interesting and with existing and new exporters in both relevant topics for Pacific businesses. Nadi and Suva ranging from suppliers, For instance, one looked at strengthening manufacturers from Fiji’s growth individual businesses’ ability to industries including timber, agriculture, understand what sustainable quality and marine resources food processing and marketing culture meant for the Pacific garments with the assistance of InvestFiji. business community – particularly those focused on export. Another highlighted “The Fiji visit was an opportunity to concerns with packaging, product quality identify products with good prospects and compliance with import protocols. for market access,” Mona says. “The Fiji trade meetings organised through Fiji There was also the opportunity to invest saw a few export leads established highlight the big potential for healthwith 2 of 3 confirmed exporters now in based products available in New Zealand the process of completion of paper work and Australian markets. In some of before the first shipments out of Suva to Auckland.” the organic shops there is demand for value added products like vanilla paste, The PT&I team also discussed coconut flour, coconut sugar, some collaborative efforts with the IACT premium packaged and branded niche Marketing team on export projects and products, organic certified products, fair trade certificated products and also how best resources could be pooled with papaya. future marketing campaigns and trade promotions plans. Jeremy and Mona met with most of PIPSO (Pacific Islands Private Sector the exhibitors with export potential to Organisation) is the main organiser of the discuss export opportunities. Some of the exhibitors were not export ready. event.
Building active holiday tourism in Aitutaki This year PT&I Auckland embarked on a somewhat unknown journey to test the waters in building an industry around windsurfing.
interest in water sports activities-based holidays in the Cook Islands.
That decision came at the time when PT&I was peering into the possibility of revitalising windsurfing as part of its tourism promotion mandate in an idyllic location in Aitutaki, often referred to as one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
The exploratory and initial visit was hugely successful. The windsurfers were awed by the lagoon and satisfied with wind conditions. The accommodation at Ranginui’s Resort and Samade on the Beach was ideal right on the beach with its thatched roof bar, car and scooter hire and the Koru Café and The Boat Shed Bar and Grill a nearby 3 minute walk away.
Aitutaki was the perfect location. With its sparkling emerald green sheltered lagoon with motu or small islands dotted like jewels in a necklace and the right amount Since windsurfing peaked in popularity in of wind. The first tour was planned for the mid-1980s and 1990s with the likes August with Alan positive he already had of Olympic medallists Barbara and Bruce the numbers for a small initial group of Kendall, the sport had lost ground to its windsurfers, a kite surfer or two to trial super slick cousin – kite surfing. So much the location and the logistics of moving so, that when the International Olympic equipment from Auckland to Aitutaki by Committee was asked this year to choose air. between windsurfing and kite, there was enough confusion between the two that As part of PT&I’s support Alan took the windsurfing lost out and was replaced for initial group up for a week and stayed the Rio Olympics 2016 in favour of kite on for a week offering free windsurfing surfing. lessons to local children.
Alan McIntosh of Madloop Windsurf Centre in Auckland has been the sport’s biggest and most passionate promoter. A fixture at Takapuna’s Lake Pupuke for several years, Alan has PT&I New Zealand Trade Commissioner Adam Denniss is a graduate of the Madloop Windsurf Centre in sailing. He had a background in Adventure Tourism in Western Australia building up the tourism industry around Whale Sharks, Adam felt there was definite potential for generating
As Kitesurfing is already well established in Aitutaki and windsurfing and sailing adding to the mix of water sports tourism can only grow in popularity. Next year, the project is expected to expand in visitor numbers and include a wider range of wind and water sports from kite surfing to paddle boarding and sailing.
PT&I facilitates site visits for FAO delegates FAO delegates visiting the Kiwifruit pack house outside Auckland
PT&I hosted a series of site visits in early September for a Pacific Islands delegation that attended the 15th FAO Roundtable Meeting on Agricultural Trade and Sustainable Development for the Pacific Island Countries.
of Vanuatu McKenzie Kalotiti, who is a liaison officer of the Ni-Vanuatu RSE scheme (Recognised Seasonal Employer) workers employed at the kiwifruit facility.
General Manager Colin Davies briefed the FAO delegates about their kiwifruit The delegates represented various operation, showed the group around agriculture organisations in the Pacific the pack house and met the Ni-Vanuatu Islands including the United Nationâ€™s seasonal workers. The Punchbowl Vanuatu Consul to New Zealand McKenzie Kalotiti office of the Food & Agriculture Kiwifruit management is happy about (right) with RSE workers from Vanuatu. Organisation (FAO), regional the New Zealand RSE scheme primarily organisations such as the Secretariat into the Dutch-style seafood auction. because it solves their perennial problem of the Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific The next part of the fisheries programme of lack of available workers especially Island government Ministries and a few entailed a cooking class at the Auckland during the harvesting period of their members of the private sector. Seafood School where the participants kiwifruit product. put their sushi-making skills to the test. A small delegation representing the Some members of the delegation also fisheries sector from the Pacific Islands Another group of some 20 FAO delegates visited the Auckland Home Show and commenced their site visit with an early visited a kiwifruit plantation and packing commented that the visit helped expose morning trip to the Auckland Fish market outside Auckland. PT&I organised the visit them to new ideas for marketing and to inspect the cold room and gain insights in coordination with the Consul General displaying products and services.
PT&I helps hone tourism operatorsâ€™ online skills PT&I and South Pacific Tourism Organisation, in association with the Cook Islands Tourism Commission has organised a new programme designed to help tourism operators in the Cook Islands improve their online marketing and distribution initiatives. The project aims to get as many accommodation providers as possible in the Cook Islands set up with a professional e-commerce enabled website able to process bookings instantly, combined with channel management tools to enable third party distribution when you need it via sites such as Wotif, Booking.com, Expedia and others.
In a later phase there are plans to supply all participating accommodation providers with interconnected Facebook sites with a booking widget embedded, plus providing help to build presence on popular travel website TripAdvisor. PT&I and SPTO will cover costs of shooting pictures, set-up for the new web sites with booking engine, social media and channel management. The programme was launched on April 16 with a workshop in Rarotonga led by Australian based consultants, Hotel Link Solutions, to provide training to local tourism operators in online selling. Following the workshop, appointments were made with those accommodation providers interested in participating to visit their properties to assess the market
readiness of their property, conduct a photo shoot and collect digital content for the creation of either a new web site (or booking widget that can be inserted into existing websites). To date, the programme has produced more than 30 live websites for Cook Islands properties, many of which have already begun to take online bookings. More Cook Islands websites along with websites being built for properties in Tarawa, Kiribati, are going live progressively. The PT&I have a MOU with the SPTO to work in partnership to increase investments in the tourism sector for the Pacific Island Countries.
Identifying opportunities for islands’ produce in Australia, New Zealand At the 9th Meeting of FAO (Food & Agriculture Organisation) South West Pacific Ministers for Agriculture held in Vava’u, Tonga in April 2011, the need for the identification and dissemination of market opportunities for Pacific Island agriculture producers was emphasised. A request was made for research to be conducted on this area. The Economic Division of FAO in Rome and PT&I New Zealand have been working together to produce 6 market briefs which examines product-specific opportunities in the New Zealand and Australian markets. Based on literature research, feedback from Pacific Island exporters and importers/distributors the following products were selected for the research: Taro, chilli, vanilla, coconuts and coffee have been researched. For taro, while
the market is largely confined to the Pacific Island communities, there are opportunities to grow the market beyond the existing market, which is largely Auckland-based and based on price. During the course of this research, a shortage of chillies was identified during the New Zealand winter months. Given the present demand and the high value of this product. Chillies were selected for this research. There is also a good demand for high quality vanilla products. Market demand for natural vanilla is growing over synthetic vanilla as a result of the increased consumer education and awareness from television food shows. Additionally, its high value and lengthy storage capabilities make it an attractive product for exporters. There is also a good demand for high quality vanilla products in Australia. The buyers
consulted noted that there are growth opportunities in the Australia market. The broad application of coconuts and the growing demand for natural coconut products due to its health benefits has made coconut a significant category and there is potential for Pacific Island exporters in this market particularly in the niche markets for certified products (organic/fair trade) and value-added products (coconut water, coconut sugar). The coffee market in Australia is a mature one characterised by intense competition particularly in the retail space. However, exporting opportunities were identified in exporting green coffee. The reports will be released shortly and will be available for downloading from the PT&I website.
PT&I launches second investment booklet This year’s “Investment Opportunities in the Pacific Islands” publication is the second edition of its kind developed by PT&I. Launching the 2012 edition, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, remarked that investment opportunities found in the Pacific remain as diverse as the region itself. Complementary to the publication, PT&I is developing an online database of investment opportunities across the 14 Forum Island Countries, which will be regularly updated. The online database will allow Pacific businesses looking for joint venture partners, equity participation or a buyer to use the database to promote investment in their business free-of-charge. Trade Commissioners Adam Dennis (Auckland), Sam Savou (Beijing), Caleb
Jarvis (Sydney), Kanichiro Sohma (Tokyo) and Trade Promotions Adviser Robyn Ekstrom (Geneva) continue to promote the Pacific’s natural comparative advantage in the tourism sector and ancillary investments. “The region’s natural beauty and effortless hospitality truly provides the scope for future growth,” said the Trade Commissioners in the publication’s welcome message.
American markets, the Commissioners say that there are nonetheless numerous success stories, and that the future of global economic growth will emanate largely from Asia.
The Commissioners added that technology is also playing a part in addressing the geographical isolation of the region. “Beyond simple personal communication, mobile telephony in the Pacific has grown to be an invaluable business tool for banking, checking commodity prices, currency transfers Despite the Pacific’s geographic isolation and online marketing.” from the traditional European and North The thriving tourism sector provides numerous other investment opportunities in the transport, hotel, food supply chain, specialty restaurants, and other such activities that support tourism sector development in the Pacific.
A short visit to her native Niue in 2009 as a delegate of Pacific Island Trade & Invest’s Return to Roots programme opened Dahlia Naepi’s eyes to the possibility of investing in an enterprise that had to do with her area of expertise – healthcare. Dahlia Naepi outside her offices in Auckland
Upgrading Niue’s healthcare system The New Zealand-based Managing Director of Pasifika Integrated Healthcare (PIHC) last week signed a MOU with the Niue Government’s Department of Health to work together to meet the Niue Health Department’s workforce needs.
I see it,” says Ms Naepi, a trained New Zealand nurse with 30 years experience in the field as well as running three healthcare service centres in Auckland. While the MOU was being worked out, Ms Naepi went on to invest in new constructions – both residential and commercial – in Niue. This is with a view to develop opportunities for the trained healthcare staff on the island to deliver more service offerings.
PIHC will assist in the coordination of Niue’s health staff to access training and education conforming to New Zealand certification standards. This will help Niue’s residents access better healthcare without having to fly out to New Zealand Ms Naepi credits PT&I’s Return to Roots for ailments that can be treated on the Mission – which encourages Pacific island island. entrepreneurs living in New Zealand to invest back in their countries of origin to “Developing critical workforce capacity help create jobs and wealth locally – for on the island is inward investment, as setting her along this path. “I’d never really
considered investing in anything back in Niue – thought it wasn’t just worth it. And then Return to Roots happened. Deciding to go was the best decision I made. It has been so very satisfying,” she says. She sees PIHC’s involvement as an ongoing project involved in healthcare in the immediate term expanding to medical and rehabilitation tourism in the not to distant future. Her engagement with her little island homeland is growing quite rapidly to encompass a whole range of inward investment projects.
New staff at PT&I’s Beijing offices
Yizhou (Summer) LIU
After having her longish stint at the Auckland offices of PT&I, Louisa Sifakula has joined the Beijing offices as Deputy Trade Commissioner and Export Promotions Manager.
Summer is the newly appointed Tourism and Culture Development Officer in the Beijing offices.
Kevin is PT&I’s newly appointed Officer Assistant in Beijing. He will be assisting with both Trade & Investment activities.
A recent MBA graduate, Summer joins PT&I after having completed an MBA at the Paris School of Business in France.
He joins PT&I with 10 years experience in various roles within trade and investment.
Joining the PT&I China team, Lousia brings a strong Pacific network and a vast experience in doing business with the Summer is open-minded about the Pacific. potential opportunities there are for the Pacific and is looking forward to working in Louisa is looking forward to identifying a multicultural environment. opportunities for exporters in China. China offers unique opportunities in She enjoys working within the tourism niche markets but it is also a market industry and has a passion for which can assist our Pacific Island export communications as well where she has businesses to produce competitive had some prior experience working in export products. China’s advertising industry.
He has lived and worked in Tonga and Fiji where he undertook a Project Supervisor role for Janfull Investment Group. Kevin is looking forward to learning more.
News from the decks
Investment opportunities in Samoa showcased Calling for revival of the primary sector, the Prime Minister called for investment in agribusiness – particularly processing of root crops, coconuts, cocoa, kava, coffee, breadfruit and avocado as well as creating value added products.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Auckland City Councillor Arthur Anae, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade and Pacific hotelier Y.P. Reddy at investSamoa 2012
PT&I put together a dossier of investment opportunities for the investSamoa event held in September as a gold sponsor of the event. The two-day conference showcased investment opportunities in Samoa. More than 200 delegates attended the opening session of the conference, which also had a trade show displaying a range of products, services and investment possibilities from the island state.
News from the decks
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi invited entrepreneurs to invest in Samoa saying there were a range of investment opportunities in tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, fisheries and infrastructure, many of which were detailed in the dossier.
New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English spoke about New Zealand’s continued support to Samoan business. New Zealand helped set up the Small Business Enterprise Centre in Samoa to boost SMEs and create jobs. New Zealand’s Samoan Tourism Support Pack is a $22million programme over five years to help promote Samoa’s tourism product offering. On the second day of the event officials interacted with prospective investors. Former Commonwealth Secretary General Don MacKinnon, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade and Auckland City Councilor Arthur Anae also attended the conference.
Royal wardrobe goes Pasifika The PT&I Auckland Office is working closely with Cook Islands and New Zealand based TAV Pacific’s Auckland operations to enhance its website and online payment systems, as the shop expects an increase in online orders following the exposure it received after draping the British Royals in their designer garments.
The Royals wearing their TAV wardrobe in the Solomon Islands
TAV Pacific has been catapulted to instant celebrity designer status after the world media splashed photos of the Duchess wearing a long fuchsia strapless, knee-length flowing TAV dress and the Prince sporting one of TAV’s colourful Pacific shirts, which has quickly come to be known as ‘Prince Will’s shirt’. Orders for Kate’s dress and Prince Will’s shirt are going through the roof at TAV’s outlets in Rarotonga and Auckland. Ellena Tavioni, founder and designer of TAV fashions
“The opportunity for Middleton to wear a TAV garment has been a truly humbling experience for us. The fact that she is the epitome of top class fashion in the
world today and the number of orders coming through this week is a testament of TAV not just being a Pacific product only, but in the international arena,” TAV’s Auckland Marketing Manager and founder Ellena Tavioni’s daughter, said. “The ‘Kate dress’ has certainly created the opportunity for people to come into the shop at Mount Eden and then seeing other similar styles and colours of their choice and have already placed orders,” Sheena added. The style of dress was trendy for some time but its popularity has received a tremendous boost in less than a week, with TAV’s staff scrambling to meet orders that are pouring in.
News from the decks
Aquaponics: A Panacea to the Small Economies Manuel Valdez COO and Head of Investments in the Pacific Islands. The first-ever commercial-sized aquaponics farm technology in the Cook Islands can be easily replicated in other islands.
The successful showcasing of the technology ahead of the recently concluded Forum Leaders summit in the Cook Islands and the publicity around it has whetted appetite among Pacific farmers to adopt aquaponics technology in the region. It is generating a lot of talk now as small entrepreneurs and farm enthusiasts are beginning to seriously consider aquaponics projects in their respective islands in the Pacific. A tsunami of requests from around the Pacific are pouring into the PT&I Auckland office asking for more information about aquaponics technology and about installing a backyard-type and/or commercial-sized aquaponics facility in their respective countries.
agricultural imports is to produce crops locally – what economists call import substitution.
It may not only alleviate the influx of food imports but also address the inconsistency of supply of leafy vegetables and herbs to the chain of Aquaponics addresses so many hotels and resort owners in the islands pressing issues that the Pacific faces – which are a vital part of the country’s that if successful, as has already been economy. I met and talked to the hotel demonstrated in the Cook Islands, it chefs in the Cook Islands and repeatedly could well be a panacea for not just the heard complaints about the unreliable region but even beyond. It addresses the supply of vegetables and herbs by the gamut of issues ranging from economics local producers and importers especially and health to livelihoods and climate when the shipment failed to arrive on change. time. It is, therefore, a big relief for the hotels and small resort operators to Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark see the constant supply of high quality Brown, during the inauguration of the agricultural products needed to feed the facility, said that the country’s agricultural influx of tourists in the islands. imports was worth about NZ$5.0 million. He argued that the proliferation of Likewise, Samoa’s agricultural aquaponics in the islands could make a commodities imports have touched significant dent on the country’s widening about NZ$3.1 million in the recent past. trade deficits. He encouraged small Based on an FAO study, Samoa’s major entrepreneurs and farm enthusiasts agricultural imports are: onions, lettuce, to take a look at the practicalities of cabbage, carrots, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, establishing aquaponics farms. Farmers cauliflowers. These crops can be easily who are considering aquaponics have grown using aquaponics technology in obviously been convinced that the best Samoa. Aquaponics scientist Dr Wilson way to substantially reduce the age-old Lennard says that aquaponics can thrive problem of huge trade imbalances of well in tropical countries especially
Although the technology can produce anything and at anytime, it doesn’t try to compete with the existing local production but target more on the imported ones. More so, if the local farmers want to shift from the traditional soil-based system or hydroponics farming, they can easily convert without any major costs involved since it is really designed to adapt to any environment. If a majority of the local farmers in the islands start adapting the aquaponics technology, it can contain the bleeding foreign deficits due to imports, reduce the trade gap, increased government savings and allocate the savings to muchneeded and high priority government projects. Lastly, the aquaponics farm system can encourage self-employment especially to those countries that sent seasonal workers to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE) Scheme. The workers come from Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands to work up to the maximum of seven months in the horticulture and viticulture industry. When they go back to their own respective countries, they can invest in aquaponics farm, produce agricultural commodities and sell them to major hotels and resort owners. The seasonal farmers who worked in New Zealand can actually do the aquaponics farm technology because they have adapted the kiwi work habits, familiarity of farm management system and financial discipline. With this, they can teach and involve their family members in the farm business. It becomes a family business which can earn more income to the family and support the family expenditures particularly education of children, food, medical expenses, etc. As a whole, it will improve the standard of living of the people in the community in particular and the whole economy in general. Aquaponics, may well turn out to be a panacea to the small economies – at once addressing several isues all at once: food security, import substitution, local entrepreneurship and being completely eco friendly, also climate change.