2016 has been a very productive year for the export facilitation portfolio. We have successfully delivered services to more Pacific Island businesses via our export development programmes such as Path to Market, Deal by Design and Deal by Technology.<!--more-->
We successfully delivered our Path to Market Programme to over 150 businesses in 11 Pacific Island countries, establishing it as our flagship market entry programme. The programmes were delivered in partnership with local economic development agencies and private sector bodies.
It was a pleasure welcoming Ian Furlong to the team. His knowledge, experience and heart for the Pacific has been a great addition to the trade team.
My highlights for 2016 have been establishing a strong Pacific presence at the Fine Foods New Zealand and Auckland Food Show.
Potential buyers and visitors to our stands has a positive response to the quality and sophisticated packaging of the products which have led to some deals.
Another highlight this year was been the implementation of a traceability system at Nishi Trading Co Limited in Tonga, as part of the Deal by Technology programme. This programme was delivered in partnership with the Government of Tonga and GS1 New Zealand. This new system helps this Pacific company achieve a global standard and become a world class exporter.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Pacific Island export clients, New Zealand importers and distributors, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, our advisory board, Pacific Island regional organization partners, the Governments of the Pacific Islands and our economic development partners in New Zealand and the Pacific as well as my colleagues in the other international PT&I offices for their support.
I would also like to thank our Trade Commissioner, Michael for his leadership this year and thank my colleagues Manuel, Ian, Dev, Eleanor and Haukura for a great year.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2017.
<em><strong>Trade development Manager