Pacific Islands get major platform at China trade event 

A ‘South Pacific Islands Pavilion’ was unveiled in Shanghai last week on July 9. Under the aegis of the China Pilot Free Trade Zone the pavilion is managed by the Shanghai Wai Gaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group Company.

The opening ceremony of South Pacific Islands Union pavilion.

The South Pacific Islands Pavilion was upgraded from the Fiji National Pavilion established at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2018. However, it has now included other Pacific countries adding a broader representation of the Pacific and a range of industries jointly promoting and showcasing Pacific islands exports products, investments and tourism opportunities.

At the first import fair, Fiji exhibited a wide range of products including Fiji Water, Fiji Beer and cosmetics, further expanding the visibility and influence of Fiji’s products in China.

“The products of a total of six countries in the South Pacific were be exhibited at this first expo already showing traction on some of the products. We are confident that once we get the infrastructure in full operation, we will see an increase in the number of countries participating at the next CIIE,” Shan Yuqiang, Director of the South Pacific Islands Union Pavilion said.

Mona Mato (extreme right but one) cutting the ribbon for the opening of the south pacific islands union pavilion with partners

This first phase of the South Pacific Islands Union Pavilion is now complete and covers about 900 square meters of space. It is divided according to the theme of the South Pacific countries, such as a tourist exhibition area, cultural exchange exhibition area, cosmetics exhibition area, tuna and sea food exhibition area, and food and specialty products display areas. The second phase of the exhibition area is expected to be completed after the second CIIE, as a post-show opportunity to continue the showcase and promotion of products.

The South Pacific Islands Pavilion is a Government of China-authorised service platform to engage in investment, trade, and cultural tourism exchanges between China and the Pacific.

It is part of the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and has opened up the market to the Pacific Islands Countries, expanded investment, and increased the import from the South Pacific, which has made a qualitative leap in the level of trade and exchange between the two sides.

Mona Mato, Acting Trade Commissioner of Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) China, Hannah Zhu, Consul General of the Republic of Fiji in Shanghai, Lu Qixing, Deputy Director of the Pudong New Area Commercial Committee, Xiao Fan, Director of China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone Management Committee Economic Development Office, Zhang Hao, Deputy General Manager of Shanghai Wai Gaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group Co., Ltd, and Shan Yuqiang, Director of the South Pacific Islands Union Pavilion, jointly cut the ribbon for the opening of the pavilion.

Speaking at the opening Mr Mato said, “PTI China is pleased to be associated with the South Pacific Union Pavilion and we recognise the support by the government of China through the implementation of the Belt & Road Initiative – an initiative that strengthens the trade linkages between China and the Pacific.  We also would like to acknowledge the efforts and great contributions by Mr David Shan as Director of the Pavilion to the pacific business over the years.

“The pavilion gives our Pacific enterprises a platform to showcase their products in to a market that can be quite challenging for our pacific exporters given the distance, market access and costs.  Therefore the Belt & Road Initiative plans through this Free Trade Zone will certainly boost our export industries and grow the pacific presence in China.” Mr Mato was interviewed by Chinese media at the event.

Mr. Shan, the director of the South Pacific Pavilion thanked PTI China for attending the opening ceremony and delivering a speech. “In the first CIIE, we got to know lots of Pacific Islands exporters and their exciting products through PTI China. Through this connection, we now have two containers of products being shipped from Vanuatu to China, which will be displayed in South Pacific Pavilion soon.” Mr. Shan said.

For more information, email PTI China Tourism Promotions Manager Vivienne Song on vivienne.song@pacifictradeinvest.org.cn

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