PT&I welcomes new intern Hatty Kabua of Marshall Islands

2014-01-11T11:00:00Z

<strong>PT&amp;I</strong> Auckland welcomed Hatty Kabua of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) on a 3 week internship programme with the office.<!--more-->

Hatty is a Trade Facilitation Official with the Ministry on Trade Policy supporting the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC).  The NTFC is a multi-stakeholder forum that invites the private, public and NGO’s decisions on trade.

Hatty works with the National Trade Advisor, leading the “Be Marshallese and Buy Marshallese” programme as part of the RMI Trade policy.   Hatty started with the Ministry in October and says she is “…hungry to learn, explore and absorb.”

Under the <strong>PT&amp;I</strong> Trade Internship programme will be working with in the Trade team with Mona Mato and Joe Fuavao.   Hatty hopes to achieve a better understanding of New Zealand consumers and its interest in RMI products, obtain an understanding of New Zealand consumers and their level of awareness on Marshallese Made goods and services.  She also plans to create a network of interested importers, distributors and buyers of Marshallese Made goods.  “The internship program will therefore aid RMI to better strategize on market segmentation in the future.”

The Republic of Marshall Islands is a Small Island State (SIS) member of the 14 countries of Pacific Islands Forum.  RMI currently exports coconut and coconut products including copra, coconut oil, cooking oil and bath soap.  Fish and fisheries are revenue earners for the RMI with room for development.  RMI is also exploring the export potential of Pandanus juice from the Pandanus fruit which is grown exclusively in the RMI.  Other products include handicraft, noni juice, tea and tourism.  RMI’s main markets are the USA and Asia with the South Pacific for handicrafts to a lesser extent.  But New Zealand and Australia are high on the radar for market diversification under the PACER Plus Trade agreements.   Although RMI has a trade relationship with New Zealand it faces non-tariff barriers including its inability to meet the product standards in NZ and thus needs assistance from New Zealand in mutual recognition, with equivalence conformity assessment of its major products as well as favourable rules of origin she says.

This is the 2<sup>nd</sup> internship at <strong>PT&amp;I</strong> Auckland this year with Ken Pep of PNG on a 6-week stint in July.

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