Investment workshops whet appetite for reform


The recently held Investment Profiling Workshops organised by Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) in the small island states of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands have brought forth an important message for the authorities, says Ravuni Uluilakeba, CEO of the Office of Commerce &amp; Investment in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_7433" align="alignleft" width="450"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-7433" src="" alt="Some of the participants of the PT&amp;I Investment Profiling Workshops with PT&amp;I (NZ) Trade Commisisoner Michael Greenslade (blue shirt), COO Manuel Valdez (in red) and Ian Furlong to his left." width="450" height="338" /></a> Some of the participants of the PT&amp;I Investment Profiling Workshops with PT&amp;I (NZ) Trade Commisisoner Michael Greenslade (blue shirt), COO Manuel Valdez (in red) and Ian Furlong to his left.[/caption]

“A key message for the RMI Government from these investment experts is to modernise its investment policies in order to attract new businesses to increase employment opportunities and reduce poverty,” he said after the Majuro workshop.

While praising the PT&amp;I workshop content for providing useful hands-on expert advice for producing quality business plans to help gain capital and investment opportunities, he said these needed to be complemented by reforms that would improve the RMI’s investment and business environment. Speakers from the World Bank made presentations on possible reform measures that island governments could adopt in a separate seminar.

Participants said that the workshop clearly gave them a new insight into the importance of “Ease of Doing Business” to attract foreign investment into their countries. The participants raised the issue with the government officials who were present at the workshop to review the investment policy and draft a more investment-friendly Foreign Investment Act to lure foreign investors.

The participants vowed to work collaboratively with their respective chambers of commerce to discuss significant issues and discuss those issues with the government officials and work out a definite plan of action and implement them. PT&amp;I’s highly experienced training consultant Ian Furlong agreed and supported their clamour to review and assess the Foreign Investment Act in the Small Island States of the Northern Pacific.

The first-ever PT&amp;I Investment Profiling Workshops in held in Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Marshall Islands saw some 100 participants attend. The Participants came from different private and public sector organisations ranging from micro-enterprises, SMEs, seasoned businesspeople, government officials, NGOs, community development centres, and even highly placed government officials.

Ian Furlong along with PT&amp;I (NZ) Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade and COO and Head of Investment Manuel Valdez facilitated the workshop sessions and helped groups to draft the investment opportunity project as a live exercise to be presented to the entire group.

Mr. Furlong presented selected topics that would help the participants to prepare an informative and concise investment profile to potential investors. Topics ranging from overview of investment environment, approach to profiling of investment, outline on how to prepare an investment profile, workshop on drafting an investment profile. The culminating activity was the presentation of investment profile to the whole group.

Feedback from participants to the workshops, which was made possible by funding from the Japanese Government, was positive with many requests for such capacity building initiatives to be conducted regularly.

Jerry Kramer, CEO of Pacific International Inc. and one of the biggest business establishments in Marshall Islands said, “The PT&amp;I workshop is an eye-opener to learn key factors to consider in attracting foreign investment”.

Bernice Ngirkelan of Palau Aquaculture Cooperative Association said, “I’m very fortunate to have attended the workshop, to improve my skills and hopefully improve my business and gain potential partners.”

For more information, contact Manuel Valdez, COO &amp; Head of Investment, PT&amp;I (NZ). Email:

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