Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand’s Ian Furlong and Riley Birtwistle delivered a successful Path to Market workshop in Samoa last month.
The Path to Market programme aims to encourage and support local businesses in the Pacific Islands to grow domestically, build capacity and entering the export market in future.
The programme follows a series of stages beginning with an in-country workshop. Some of the export-ready companies identified at the workshop can potentially move onto the next stages and eventually exporting internationally.
PTI NZ works with SAME (Samoa Manufacturers and Exporters Association) as the in-country partner organising the workshop held on September 20 in Apia.
Colin Stringer, CEO of SAME said, “The PTI NZ workshop is an annual event that encourages and supports our local businesses to explore markets not only in New Zealand but worldwide.
“The SAME office would like to express its sincere thanks to PTI NZ for their ongoing support and we look forward to continue the strengthening of our partnership in working towards the betterment of our local exporters and assisting them in meeting their exporting targets,” he said.
Riley Birtwistle, PTI NZ’s newest part-time staff intern attended his first Samoa Path to Market workshop programme and reported to Pacific Periscope.
“I found the workshop to be very valuable to small business owners and people with expectations to enter different export markets. All the topics covered were relatable and easy to understand for people.”
Mr Birtwistle introduced the role of the PTI NZ organisation and collected participant data at the workshop.
After the introductions, the programme started with Power Point modules including the attributes of successful export companies, understanding the customer, export readiness and understanding their company’s value proposition.
Participants at the workshop were from the clothing, handicrafts, furniture and food and beverage sectors.
CCK’s Kone Uilisone attended the workshop and said she really enjoyed the workshop especially the module dealing with how to set retail pricing.
CCK is a coffee bean and ground coffee manufacturing company who also produce Noni powder and Noni juice.
Currently CCK’s biggest market is local “…as they say Samoa is a big coffee drinking country,” Mr Birtwistle said. The company is export capable and there is some demand for Noni powder in New Zealand. “Potential opportunities could arise if CCK can increase their production capacity,” Mr Birtwistle said.
Serah Devoe from Loriana’s, a fashion business, took time out of her busy schedule to come to the workshop. She said she found it very interesting and useful. Mrs Devoe wanted to develop the story of her business and start implementing supply agreements with her major her customers as an outcome of attending the workshop.
Mrs Devoe recently received an order from a New Zealand buyer for 200 dresses and her staff were busy fulfilling the order which needed to be sent to NZ that week. She invited PTI NZ to visit her shop where her staff were hard at work completing their export order.
Tahiano was another business attending the workshop who had recently received a large order for 400 uniforms to export to Wallis & Futuna Islands.
Hans Wesch is the owner and designer of Tahiano, a fashion business. Mr Wesch attended the Path to Market workshop for the first time. Fortuitously it turns out, Mr Wesch was showcasing weeks later as an international designer in the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show in Auckland on October 6.
He found the programme useful for him and his business and would recommend it to other business owners. The business is small for now but shows signs of growth over the coming year with Tahiano being regularly invited to attend various fashion shows.
The PTI NZX team visited the SleepWell bed factory in Vaitele. The factory was an ex-car parts manufacturing company and is still currently being converted. The owners have an eye on inter-island export.
A courtesy call was made to the New Zealand High Commission in Samoa and to the SAME.
For more information contact Ian Furlong, PTI Trade Development Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org