PNG highlights coffee, handicraft at Pasifika Business Market

Seven companies exporting coffee and handicraft form the Papua New Guinea delegation at the Pasifika Business Market on March 24-25 in Auckland.The Pasifika Business Market is part of the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Path to Market programme, which builds capacity among Pacific Islands exporters to find market for their products in New Zealand.

PTI NZ partners with lead national Economic Development Agencies (EDA) in the island nations to deliver the initial in-country workshops that lead on to selected companies’ participation in trade delegations at events like the Pasifika Business Market at the Pasifika Festival.

In PNG, PTI NZ partners with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) of PNG to deliver the programme. Stewart Rom, Acting Senior Marketing Officer of IPA’s Investor Servicing & Promotion Division will be leading the seven-company delegation.

Speaking to Pacific Periscope from Port Moresby, Ambane Meregembo, IPA’s Investment Aftercare Officer said the IPA’s previous experience at the Pasifika Festival had generated positive feedback both internally and from the participating companies.

Ambane Meregembo, IPA’s Investment Aftercare Officer.

“The participating companies can really look forward to networking opportunities, product development knowledge, packaging, promotional, branding and marketing ideas and interacting with potential customers. It is good exposure,” Mr Meregembo said.

PNG coffee was finding its way to new markets, he said. Countries like Japan, Korea, Germany were increasing imports. PNG coffee has been for some time been exported and distributed in Australia and there was potential in New Zealand, he added.

“Our coffee is getting a lot of international exposure thanks to the APEC preparatory meetings which is seeing a steady stream of officials from overseas coming into PNG,” says Ken Pep, Senior Marketing Officer for Trade at IPA. Mr Pep was also an intern at PTI NZ a few years ago.

International travellers tend to compare coffee flavours in different countries and according to Mr Meregembo, PNG coffee’s full-bodied flavour and unique aroma is a favourite with visitors.

Ken Pep, Senior Marketing Officer for Trade at IPA. Mr Pep was also an intern at PTI NZ a few years ago.

Saying the Path to Market had helped streamline exporters’ strategies for participating at overseas trade shows, Mr Pep also said that the companies coming to the Pasifika Business Market this month were a good fit with the nature of the event that is Pasifika Festival.

“We know there would be considerable interest in food and beverages like coffee as also exotic handicraft. Hence these form the bulk of the companies attending the event,” he said.

Handicraft, particularly bilum, PNG’s unique woven products had great potential said Mr Meregembo. Bilum products were a hit at previous Pasifika events and have found their way into upmarket retail stores in Auckland following those shows.

“PNG handicraft is very popular with inbound visitors. We believe there is a potential for export too,” Mr Pep said.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at

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