Agriculture and tourism remain the backbone of Pacific Island economies.
Although small island nations face numerous challenges within these sectors, there are also many opportunities waiting to be tapped into.
The region is rich in natural resources, which benefits both the agriculture and tourism sectors, and they play a crucial role in economic development in the region.
Access to finance for agricultural development is generally very limited and traditional production methods are still being used.
The remote location of the Pacific countries from the international markets result in high transportation costs for exports, and high distribution and marketing costs and this means Pacific exporters become mainly price takers in the international markets.
Opportunities as well as how to overcome challenges in the agriculture and tourism sectors were the focus of recent discussions between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand at the Auckland office.
The Ministry’s Unit Manager Agriculture, Tourism and Digital, Aid Programme Gareth Smith and Senior Adviser of Sustainable Development Sector and Thematic Division Jennifer Anderson joined PTI staff to explore what is happening in the agriculture and tourism sectors in the region, and what opportunities exist for MFAT engagement/assistance.
Acting Trade and Investment Commissioner for PTI New Zealand Manuel Valdez discussed PTI’s activities with MFAT, as well as offering advice on how it could potentially help develop Pacific exporters and small to medium enterprises.
Pacific Trade Invest plays a part in helping small Pacific exporters to find industrial buyers, importers and distributers in the New Zealand market, he says.
“PTI facilitates the exporters in research and development on their product and market diversification, while on the investment side, PTI helps the small businesses to find potential investors to do joint venture business with them.
“It also promotes inward investment by uploading their investment projects in the Pacific Hub website to attract foreign investors.”
With MFAT willing to help Pacific nations, they would benefit from financial assistance to go towards product and market research development; packaging materials; solving bio-security issues; and from lowered tariffs and tax duties, Manuel adds.
For more information, contact Acting Trade and Investment Commissioner Manuel Valdez firstname.lastname@example.org.