Path to Market Auckland 2019 biggest initiative for Pacific businesses

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Trade & Investment Commissioner Michael Greenslade tells Pacific Periscope how the PTI NZ Path to Market programme in 2019 will be bigger, better and deliver Pacific Island business more bang for its buck… 

Michael Greenslade, PTI NZ Trade & Investment Commissioner says, “Auckland has the biggest Pacific Island community and the intent of this exercise is as much to gather market intel as it is to directly sell product.

How is PTI NZ’s Path to Market Auckland 2019 different from earlier Path to Market events at Pasifika?

2019 is going to be different for PTI NZ in terms of New Zealand delivery of Path to Market. In three previous years we’ve worked with the Auckland Council in participating in Pasifika. Over those three years we’ve grown from eight to 23 to 37 exhibiting companies from all over the Pacific Islands region participating at the Path to Market events that we held at Pasifika.

Last year we had our own distinct village at Pasifika, which in our view was probably the best designed village at Pasifika. However, the venue being open to sky, we had a few problems: it rained heavily, which affected attendance and the ability for the stands to operate in a normal commercial fashion. Some stands were water-logged and electricity supply was not available for a time.

After last year’s event, we were determined to make the event more professional and business-like for our participating companies.

How is PTI NZ planning to achieve this?

We began by analysing the risk associated with rain in Auckland and decided the best option for us was to hold an indoor event to which we have invited not only Path to Market companies but also Pacific stakeholders in the wider Auckland community.

We decided to take the event indoors. What better venue than The Cloud on Auckland’s beautiful waterfront. The Cloud has always been a venue with the Pacific in mind. It was established for the Rugby World Cup 2011 and was the venue hosting the annual Pacific Forum leaders meeting that year.

We see the opportunity to use the cloud to provide a professional exhibition space for companies and also to showcase Pacific culture, music and food as an attraction in itself. There will also be a number of business-related seminars that will be open to the public to attend.

How many companies from the Pacific Islands region will participate?

We are expecting 40 Pacific Island companies to travel to New Zealand to participate and have also reached out to our PTI NZ Path to Market alumni from previous years and selected companies by Pacific Island Economic Development Agencies (EDAs) as well as our wild card invitation, where we will offer exhibition space* for up to five companies outside of our PTI NZ Path to Market alumni list.

We will also invite our stakeholders in New Zealand to participate and also to take a booth at The Cloud as well as Business Councils and other stakeholder partners working in the domestic market. Pacific Island business is after all a subset of New Zealand business.

How are these participating Pacific Island companies expected to benefit?

The Path to Market programme helps fledgling Pacific Island exporters gain confidence in the New Zealand market. Part of the New Zealand programme has been to attend an exhibition in order to test market companies’ approach to product, pricing, promotion and packaging. Auckland has the biggest Pacific Island community and the intent of this exercise is as much to gather market intel as it is to directly sell product. Many of the companies make direct sales at the event but will also be meeting buyers later in the programme.

*PTI NZ, as part of Path to Market 2019 programme, has decided to invite Wild Card companies to participate in the Path to Market programme. PTI NZ will provide free space, a stand, signage and fittings for up to five companies as part of the Wild Card invitees initiative The Cloud.

For more information, email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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