PT&I hosts workshops for RSE workers

26/04/2012

Over the past two weeks, Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest’s New Zealand office organised two financial literacy workshops for the RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme) workers in the Napier and Hastings area of New Zealand’s North Island.<!--more-->

PT&amp;I Investment Manager Manuel Valdez and Vanuatu High Commissioner to New Zealand Mckenzie Kalotiti facilitated three hour training sessions for Vanuatu and Tongan workers on transferring money across borders cost effectively, saving while working in New Zealand and back in their home countries as also investing in small enterprises and gainful schemes wisely.

Returned workers from Vanuatu are known to have invested in initiatives like fishing boats or buildings for use by their communities and a band of Samoan workers invested in a bus to serve a hitherto unserviced route on the island of Upolu. PT&amp;I is now looking at exposing the returning workers to small entrepreneurial activity that addresses both social and economic development issues such as food security.

During the workshops, PT&amp;I familiarise the workers with tips on investing wisely in businesses that would immediately benefit their families and the communities, while earning them money. An introductory presentation on Aquaponics – the technique of growing food with the help of fish – raised great interest among the workers, who wanted to know more.

Global money transfer giant Western Union also conducted presentations on efficient money transferring with the help of visual aids and promotional material. Many workers asked questions and had their doubts clarified by Western Union’s representatives.

In recent years, efforts of the World Bank, national central banks, regional commercial banks and financial institutions have helped reduce costs of money transfer around the region. Fees were among the highest anywhere in the world until a couple of years ago.

Though still high in comparison with other regions, costs have reduced considerably. Mobile telephony has recently entered the money transfer business and this is expected to drive costs even lower leaving more investible funds or money to save in the hands of the workers.

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