Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ’s Path to Market workshops will be conducted for the first ever time in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and Papeete in French Polynesia this month.

The PTI NZ team will be in the Cook islands and French Polynesia this month to help companies there export their products to NZ.

Path to Market is PTI NZ’s signature export capability building programme around the 16 Pacific Island Forum nations. PTI NZ created the programme to provide a multi-stage, structured approach for businesses to better understand exporting into the New Zealand market.

PTI NZ works with the economic development agencies (EDA) in each country to identify potential exporters. Business owners are then invited to attend a Path to Market workshop as the first step in the programme. From there they could be selected to attend Auckland’s Pasifika Festival and/or other trade shows in New Zealand.

In Cook Islands, the Business Trade & Investment Bureau (BTIB) is the partnering EDA. PTI NZ also worked with the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce. The French Polynesian EDA partner is Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrie, des Services et des Métiers (CCISM).

Michael Greenslade, PTI NZ Trade & Investment Commissioner and Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong will conduct the workshops in the two countries. The workshops were well publicised through the local newspapers, Mr Furlong said. Some 13 companies have registered for the Cook Islands workshops which take place on Thursday, May 24 in Rarotonga. “The response has been strong,” Mr Furlong said.

“We have worked closely with BTIB and its Trade & Marketing Officer Mona Taio is a champion of the Path to Market programme in the Cook Islands,” Mr Furlong added.

Ms Taio has interned with PTI NZ previously and has attended the Pasifika Business Market in March this year with a small Cook Islands delegation. Some 40 Pacific Island companies from 11 nations that had graduated the Path to Market programme participated at the Pasifika as part of the Path to Market programme.

CCISM Export International Trade Advisor Florian LeClercq led a small delegation of French Polynesian companies to New Zealand last year. PTI NZ had hosted some of the activities while they were in Auckland, Mr Furlong said. “Florian is a champion of the Path to Market programme in French Polynesia,” he said.

English not being the first language in the French Pacific presents some complications, Mr Furlong said but the workshop content will be delivered with the help of an interpreter in Papeete. The workbooks provided will also be bilingual.

“French Polynesia has several companies with well developed products with export potential to New Zealand, but the labelling is required to be in English for the New Zealand market and those are some of the things we will be addressing,” Mr Furlong said.

French Polynesia and New Caledonia (where workshops have already been conducted) are recent members of the Fiji-headquartered Pacific Islands Forum.

More than 300 companies from 11 countries have graduated through the programme. Cook Islands and French Polynesia will bring the tally of countries to 13.

Registrations for the workshops are still open. Email Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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