Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand participated in the New Zealand Pacific Business Council (NZPBC) trade mission to the Cook Islands last week, 19-21 September.
The mission comprised a focused group of nine people who had a programme with the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Business Trade & Investment Board, the Cook Islands’ trade and investment promotion agency.
Devin Brown, Auckland based General Manager of ABB and Tauranga based Paul Pledge, General Manager of Tradestaff, jointly led the delegation. Trade & Investment Commissioner Michael Greenslade represented PTI NZ.
New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Marshall hosted a function for the delegation on 16 September, attended by more than 50 invited guests.
On 17 September, the NZPBC and the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted a combined seminar attended by the full board of the BTIB and several key local business leaders.
Steven Lyon, Acting President of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce thanked the Council for the initiative and said the seminar was invaluable for the chamber’s members.
After the seminar, the council delegation made five site visits centred around the tourist hub of Muri in Rarotonga. The sites visited included Stan Wolfgramm’s Te Ara Museum of Cultural Enterprise and Business Incubator; the head office of the Pacific Resort Group; the operations of the Pacific Diving Company; the manufacturing facility of Robert Wyllie’s Rito health and beauty products and fashion retail showroom of PTI NZ Path to Market participant Fave Designs.
The day ended with the NZPBC delegation hosting a networking cocktail function with local officials and businesspeople.
“Two key site visits were organised on Friday, the final day of the mission in the Cook Islands,” Mr Greenslade told Pacific Periscope. “One was the visit to McConnell Dowell Te Mato Vai project to see one of the ten water storage facilities that this project encompasses.”
The project is a multi-staged upgrade of the water supply network on Rarotonga, funded by the governments of New Zealand, China and the Cook Islands and is worth more than $30 million according to the McConnel Dowell website.
The second visit was to telecommunications company Blue Sky. “We had a discussion with Blue Sky Chief Executive Philip Henderson on the ICT landscape in the Cook Islands including new entrants to the market that are using both cable and satellite technologies for connectivity,” Mr Greenslade said.
The mission formally ended on Friday afternoon with some delegates heading to French Polynesia for further business meetings.
Meanwhile, PTI NZ and Tradestaff have had initial discussions that may well lead to a formal MoU about labour mobility in the Pacific, Mr Greenslade said. The details would be worked out in the coming weeks.
For more information email Dev Nadkarni, Editor Pacific Periscope and Marketing & Communications Manager, PTI NZ at firstname.lastname@example.org