Merry Xmas to you all and I know that we are all looking forward to the festive time of the year.2017 has been a stellar year for our Pacific Path to Market Programme which has been running now for over three years. This has proven to be a very effective way of engaging with Pacific businesses to assist them to build their business capabilities and to enter the export market to NZ in the future.

Ian Furlong

This year PTI (NZ) ran Business Capability Building Workshops as a part of this programme in Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands (Honiara and Gizo), Fiji (Suva and Nadi), Vanuatu, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei), Palau, Marshall Islands, and PNG (Lae and Port Moresby) which have been attended by upwards of 300 Pacific businesses, many of whom are keen to grow their businesses with a view to entering the export market to NZ in the future.

This year saw us extend the reach of the programme to businesses in several regional areas such as Gizo in the Solomon Islands and Lae in PNG and we are planning to continue to do so in 2018.

The participating businesses in the programme have a wide range of products on offer which include coffee (green beans and roasted), Chocolate products, Spices, Coconut oil based cosmetics and cooking products, Timber, Cocoa, Handicrafts, Honey, Fresh produce, Tuna and a variety of processed foods amongst others.

The Pacific Path to Market programme offers an opportunity to selected export ready businesses an opportunity to visit Auckland as part of the Pasifika Festival which is held in March each year.

We had 25 businesses from 8 Pacific countries involved this year and we are currently planning to include more businesses in the 2018 event as a valuable way for businesses to test market their products in the NZ market.

So, after a busy year I want to extend my best wishes for Xmas to all of you who have participated in the Pacific Path to Market Programme and the Economic Development Agencies who organised things for us in each country and the many other people I have had the pleasure of working with this year.

To contact Ian Furlong go to ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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