Japan’s Pacific Islands Centre upbeat on island products


Reiko Takada, the Tokyo-based Pacific Islands Centre’s Promotion Coordinator is pleasantly surprised at how effectively some Pacific Island companies are gearing up to meet the Japanese market.<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_7006" align="alignleft" width="138"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/rsz_shiu-reiko.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7006" alt="Reiko Takada with Shiu Raj, Economic Governance Director, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva." src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/rsz_shiu-reiko.jpg" width="138" height="104" /></a> Reiko Takada with Shiu Raj, Economic Governance Director, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva.[/caption]

Ms Takada who visited Tuvalu and Fiji last month on of her Pacific missions, told Pacific Periscope “Some companies have already got a Japanese website, which will help us promote their products more easily.”

The Pacific Islands Centre, a part of the Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) Network, helps find distribution and retail markets for Pacific Island products in Japan. Some Fiji exporters have progressed well on their path to sell their wares in Japanese markets. “Some companies have already developed items according to Japanese specification -- that is helpful in find a good importer,” Ms Takada said.

While in Fiji, Ms Takada, who said she was impressed by the range of products that were being produced in the country, visited companies in the food and beverage, processed foods, nutraceuticals, organic agriculture, chocolate, coffee and marine products industries.

“Companies in Fiji that have already developed products for Japanese specification, might have high potential, they can be promoted more positively,” she said. “Organic cosmetics seemed a good fit for the Japanese market currently, too.”

Ms Takada said she would like to promote Tuvalu as an exotic destination to Japanese tourists, especially after the tiny country’s tourism officials told her about plans to start diving tours in the Funafuti conservation area as also tours to the outer atolls to experience local cultural life. “I would like to highlight this to call people’s attention to Tuvalu at the coming Marine Diving Fair to be held in Tokyo in early April,” she said.

Ms Takada and the Pacific Islands Centre are working hard toward showcasing Pacific Island products at the Pacific Fiesta, a parallel event with PALM 7 (the 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting) in May. The meeting between Pacific leaders and Japanese Government agencies, which has been held once every three years since 1997, is taking place on May 22-23 in Iwaki-city.

As well as spending time at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Offices in Suva and visiting several private sector enterprises and NGOs, Ms Takada also visited several organisations that work in the Pacific.

Many of the companies she visited had given her samples to take back to Japan, Ms Takada said. “We would more than welcome inquiries from Fijian companies which are ready for export to Japan,” she added.