After ten years at Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand, Joe Fuavao, Trade Development Manager left the organisation last week to take up a role at the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). 

Joe Fuavao

Starting out as an intern helping with market research projects at PTI NZ while still pursuing his qualifications at university, Joe moved up to the position of Trade Development Manager.

“In the ten years that I have spent working at PTI, a lot of the people that I worked with – colleagues at the Auckland office and the PTI Network, clients, Trade Commissioners all have helped shape me,” Joe told Pacific Periscope on his final day at the office last Friday.

“I started out a decade ago with a view to finding ways to make a positive contribution to the Pacific Islands region. I think I’ve done that at PTI,” he added.

In his decade at PTI NZ, Joe has worked closely with clients from across the region on several projects and assignments helping find markets for their products in New Zealand. He had been actively involved in organising clients’ participation in trade shows across several years including the Pasifika Festival.

“What I’m passionate about is Pacific economic development. And I’m pleased that in my new job, I’ll still be in the Pacific arena,” he said.

Joe will be based at MFAT’s offices in Quay Street, Auckland.

“I’ll still have a Pacific element in my role though it’s too early to say in what specific way. But it’s the Pacific connection that attracted me to the role and I’ve always been interested in international development and economic development, the PTI Network and the Pacific Islands Forum,” he added.

PTI NZ Trade & Investment Commissioner Michael Greenslade said, “It has been a pleasure working with Joe over the last three years at PTI and previously in my role at NZTE. During the last couple of years, Joe and I worked together pathing his next career steps. I’m delighted that Joe has been able to follow in his father’s steps in terms of moving into a Diplomatic space and I look forward to working with Joe in his new role.”

Reminiscing working with Joe, PTI NZ Chief Investment Officer Manuel Valdez said, “I have worked with my ‘buddy’ Joe Fuavao for a little over 10 years and it was a fantastic, memorable and enjoyable journey.

“Joe is a very meticulous guy, hardworking and conscientious professional worker. I vividly remember that when Joe had his orientation in the office, I told him that working with PTI NZ, he will see the world and unfold the greatest opportunity that would further enhance his skills and know-how not only on cutting-edge trade facilitation skills but also open new avenues that would prepare him for greater heights. I believe that Joe will bring his wealth of experience in his new assignment.”

Marketing & Communications Manager and Pacific Periscope Editor Dev Nadkarni said, “I’ll always remember Joe as a tireless workmate – always ready to help and go the extra mile. His work ethic and sense of humour are infectious. He will be missed but I’m happy that he’s progressed his career while still working in the space that he is most passionate about – the Pacific. So, it’s more au revoir than adieu!”

Communications and Social Media Manager Eleanor Ikinofo said, “It’s been a pleasure working with Joe over the past 10 years. Seeing him grow from a new University graduate to a strong and passionate advocate for growing Pacific businesses and economies.

“He enthusiastically took on every job and activity and eventually became our ‘go to’ person in the office for just about everything — from internal admin to trade shows, events and activities. We shared eventful times, laughs, jokes and discussions and omgs along the way. We were overjoyed Joe won a new role with NZMFAT’s Pacific Connections office and taken a big step in his career, whilst maintaining a role with the Pacific. Yes, a tad sad to lose a valued staff member but proud to see him moving into a great new role. So, Joe, thank you for all your contribution to the office, PIFS and the region.  Thank you for your tireless efforts, deep care and commitment for the Pacific.  Oue Tulou. Kia tumau e monuina.


Messages from the Sydney office

PTI Australia’s Export Services Manager Teremoana (Mona) Mato, who had worked closely with Joe during Mona’s stint in the New Zealand office said in an email message, “I’ve had the pleasure of working by and alongside Joe for four years during my term with the Auckland PTI office and during those four years, witnessed a colleague with so much passion and love for the Pacific.

“His work with Pacific villages, communities and cooperatives is commendable as he saw the needs and priorities of our people and the significance of his role in the trade and export space that would lead to helping improve livelihoods.

“Today, I know of Pacific families lives that have changed for the better through Joe’s work.  Joe is the consummate professional, smart and I must add MFAT is certainly blessed to have a skill set that will no doubt contribute immensely to the organisation.”

PTI Australia General Manager Jeremy Grennell wrote, “Joe is the ultimate professional and a pleasure to work with particularly when our offices launched the Path to Market programme to the Pacific.”

Visual Communications Manager Chris Brimble said, “I’ve always seen Joe as my ‘work-twin’ over the last 10 years… I have often admired his achievements and been inspired by them. We are very grateful for his tireless work and assistance and, while it is sad to see him go, I am glad to see his career progressing.”

Event Manager Paula Bjelanovic said, “I have had the pleasure of working with Joe through the Path to Market programme, and through this event I was fortunate to know the wonderful person Joe is — selfless, genuine, friendly, and a joy to work with. Joe, I wish you all the best in your new post, I am sure you will shine as you always have.”

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