Manuel Valdez – COO and Head of Investment


Ho! Ho! Ho! Once again it’s yuletide season and Santa is coming to town. Santa has a bagful of good news to tell about his projects in the Pacific Islands. It is an opportune time to thank all the stakeholders, partners and valued clients that one way or another helped PT&amp;I accomplish its mission in the Pacific Islands.<!--more-->

[caption id="attachment_7652" align="alignleft" width="400"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-7652" src="" alt="Manuel Valdez" width="400" height="267" /></a> Manuel Valdez[/caption]

In retrospect, there have been a lot of new things that happened in the past 12 months. For one, the Tanna Farms have successfully exported their maiden virgin coconut oil product to New Zealand early this year. But unfortunately Cyclone Pam swept away their facility in Tanna Island in the middle of this year. However, being a true blooded entrepreneur, the owner and his men felt devastated and downhearted but not out. They hurriedly rebuilt the virgin coconut oil facility and it is up and running again. They are really a true-blooded entrepreneur! A warrior!

PT&amp;I Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade and myself represented trade and investment mission for the New Zealand Fiji Business Mission last April. It was the first time that six organizations involved with Fiji and came together to organise the business mission. These included the Fiji High Commission, the Fiji Honorary Consul’s office, Auckland PT&amp;I, NZ Trade &amp; Enterprise, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Fiji Business Council. There were 12 businesses represented on the mission from a variety of sectors and many were members of the NZ Fiji Business Council.

For the first time, PT&amp;I together with the Pacific delegation were invited by the Trade and Industry Association of Singapore (TIAS) on their 2015 Summit Conference at the Furama Waterfront in Singapore. The Pacific exporters were given the opportunity to increase their profile and promote their Pacific export commodities to the local businessmen.

PT&amp;I conducted the first-ever Investment Profiling Workshop in the Small Island Developing States of Micronesia and Republic of Marshall Islands. A series of workshop were done in Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Majuro and around 100 participants attended the workshops on the four Pacific Islands.

PT&amp;I also attended the FEMM and Private Sector Dialogue in the Cook Islands. PT&amp;I was involved in the drafting of consolidated report to be presented to the FEMM meeting. One of the presenters in the Private Sector Dialogue who was also a participant of the Investment Profiling Workshop in Majuro publicly thanked the PT&amp;I Auckland office for conducting the first-ever workshop in their country. The presenter even mentioned that this workshop should be done regular in the Small Island States in the North Pacific Islands.

Before I end, let me say, may the glorious message of peace, joy, happiness and love fill you during this wonderful yuletide season. Have a blessed holiday, all of you.