Conference pledges to promote Pacific collaborations

30/06/2014

A conference of representatives from the Pacific Islands’ private sector, the New Zealand Government and agencies promoting exports and investment in the region discussed collaborations and partnerships to spur economic growth in the islands.<!--more-->

Delivering the keynote address at the one-day Pacific Wave Conference, New Zealand’s newly appointed Pacific Economic Ambassador Shane Jones voiced his firm intent in working together with stakeholders around the region to “turn rhetoric into reality.”

Mr. Jones said economic development was the key driver in the Government’s aid programme and that he would follow a collaborative approach to address impediments to privatisation in the Pacific. He referred to key economic sectors like fisheries, tourism and produce exports as those that needed encouragement.

Exports of produce into New Zealand and their marketing and distribution needed a boost. The growing demand for high quality fresh food was something that the Pacific could look at fulfilling, he said. He praised the region’s fisheries management as being superior to that in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans but voiced concern on the problem of illegal fishing in the Pacific.

Mr. Jones also spoke about the success of initiatives like the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme and the need to strengthen it do deliver better economic outcomes back in the island homes of the seasonal workers.

He hoped the conference would give participants the opportunity to find out how the New Zealand Government and other agencies could assist in private sector initiatives for economic development in the region and what his role as Pacific Ambassador involved.

Other keynote speakers at the conference were Adrian Orr, Chief Executive of NZ Superfund and Ngahiwi Tomoana, a board member of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, which hosted the conference.

Presenters included several Pacific exporters and entrepreneurs with whom <b>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest</b> <b>(PT&amp;I) </b>has had the privilege of working with: Jennifer Boggiss of Heilala Vanilla, Michael Finau Brown of Natures Way Co-operative Fiji, award winning chef and author Robert Oliver and Howard Politini,
Board Member, Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO).

<b>PT&amp;I</b> NZ Acting Trade Commissioner Manuel Valdez participated in a panel along with Michael Greenslade, New Zealand Trade &amp; Enterprise (NZTE) Trade Commissioner for the Pacific, Mac Leauanae Chief Executive, Pacific Cooperation Foundation and three other speakers.

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