NZ Tonga Mission strengthens business links

A key part of the New Zealand Tonga Business Council’s inaugural Trade Mission to Tonga 15-18 February 2017 will be to strengthen strategic alliances with trade and investment counterparts.   Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s COO and Investment Head, Manuel Valdez says. 

rsz_flag-pins-tonga-new-zealandMr Valdez will represent Pacific Islands Trade and Invest (PT&I) on the Trade Mission alongside Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao. Rachel Afeaki Taumoepeau will also be there as a Board member of PT&I and Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade will join the delegation on Friday.

“This is a good opportunity to strengthen our strategic alliances with our trade and investment counterparts in Tonga and at the same time follow up with our valued clients in Tonga regarding the current projects that the PT&I is involved,” said Mr Valdez.

More than 30 delegates from different private and public enterprises will join the Tonga Business Mission.  The private enterprises come from different sectors such as energy, education, law, dairy products, shipping and logistics, telecommunications and broadcasting, health and education, fisheries, accommodation and facility, labour mobility and trade promotion agency.

The busy four-day programme will include sector-specific panels, presentations, networking opportunities, site visits and an exhibition of products and services on the final day of the mission.

Mr Valdez said the main objective of the NZTBC Trade Mission would be to encourage and support bi-lateral trade whilst growing investment opportunities between New Zealand and Tonga but to also work collaboratively with the Tongan Government and its key stakeholders.

“The Trade Mission is a good opportunity to follow up with the past participants about the investment projects they are planning to expand and to look for possible business partners.  PT&I might run another Investment workshop in Tonga this year.”  In addition, Mr Valdex said he would follow up on enquiries made to the PT&I Pacific Hub website about businesses in Tonga.

“The mission will provide delegates an opportunity to develop personal relationships with their counterparts at the political and community levels and across the commercial and development sectors” he added.

The Trade Mission will showcase New Zealand’s business engagement in Tonga, identify specific commercial and development opportunities for New Zealand businesses, decision makers, and non-governmental organisations, particularly in the fields of tourism, education, renewable energy, and infrastructure development.

PT&I have a long association with the NZTBC, Trade Commissioner Greenslade is a current Executive member of the Council.  COO and Investment Head Mr Valdez and Trade Development Manger Mr Fuavao have also worked on several successful PT&I projects in association with NZTBC.

PT&I did the first-ever Investment Profiling Workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour attended by around 68 private and government organizations.

PT&I have also posted bankable and investment projects in Tonga and the Pacific Island on the Pacific Hub website

But PT&I has been engaged in a number of export programmes in Tonga such as the Deal By Technology project between the Ministry of Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour, GS1 New Zealand and Nishi Trading Co Limited.

PT&I has also successfully matched Tongan agriculture exporters to New Zealand importers resulting in export deals. One such company is Lotopoha Exports who supplied a New Zealand supermarket with frozen root crops.

Mr Fuavao said “PT&I is continuing its work in export capability development by developing Pacific Path to Market trade mission to New Zealand for 5 companies who will be led by MCCTIL. (Deal by Technology Programme)

The NZTBC trade delegation has been invited to attend the reopening of the newly refurbished Tanoa International Dateline Hotel where King Tupou VI will cut the ribbon on the second day of the mission.  The delegation will return to New Zealand on Saturday 18th February.

For further information, please inquire with COO and Head of Investment Manuel Valdez at

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