World gets a taste of Pacifica in Europe

22/07/2013

Products from the Pacific Island nations ranging from coffee, jams, preserves, chutneys, herbal teas and infusions were all on the menu at a breakfast event in July 9 in Geneva, Switzerland.<!--more-->

An initiative of the <b>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest</b> (PT&amp;I) network in Europe, the event was held on the margins of the Fourth Global Review of Aid for Trade. More than 100 people from all over the world participated in the breakfast meet.

Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation; Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa; Richard Maru, Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Trade and ambassadors and international delegates attending the Aid for Trade events in Geneva were among the prominent guests at the breakfast.

The showcase event profiled a selection of Pacific product offerings that could enter into the European markets. Guests were provided an overview of Pacific exports including boutique coffees from Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu; chilli sauce from Samoa; canned tuna from the Solomon Islands and luxury personal care items including soaps and body oils from Fiji and Tonga. Other Pacific products such as vanilla, noni juice, cultural artifacts, jewellery and handicrafts were also on display.

Highlighting the uniqueness of Pacific products, Shiu Raj, Director of the Economic Governance Programme at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat said, “Many of the high value niche products from the Pacific have a story that links to our cultures and traditions. These products are increasingly produced through ethical and sustainable practices and a number of Pacific products are being used by international chains and celebrities.”

Commenting on the impressive turnout and participation at the event Mr Raj said, “The response by the participants at the Pacific Showcase illustrates the interest that European consumers may have in Pacific products. Export opportunities for boutique, fair trade and niche organic products are real. Buyers and suppliers are encouraged to contact the PT&amp;I desk in Geneva, which promotes and markets Pacific products in Europe.”

<b>Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest</b> in Europe promotes Pacific exports and assists in developing critical marketing channels and value chain linkages to enable Pacific Island exporters to establish their products in European markets. <b>PT&amp;I</b> also assists in enhancing access to technical support and establishing partnerships with agencies that can deliver practical assistance to address the challenges and impediments to increased trade with Europe.