The first ever Pasifika Business Market at the Pasifika Festival 2018 has been an overwhelming success.
Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand’s first stand-alone pan-Pasifika Business Market brought more than 35 small to medium businesses from 11 Pacific Island countries at Auckland’s Pasifika Festival 2018.
With Pacific Island products on offer and great entertainment, there were thousands of visitors throughout the two-day event.
Pacific Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong said “It is an exciting prospect to see how many Pacific Island businesses are export ready or almost export ready and their enthusiasm for entering the New Zealand market. It’s great to see so many Pacific companies enthusiastic about entering the New Zealand market. This is a major opportunity for them to contribute to economic development in each of these countries.”
The Pasifika Business Market offered a wide range of top notch Pacific brands and products unfamiliar to the New Zealand market. The heavy weather on Saturday affected sales but when the sun came out on Sunday, it brought with it a steady stream of local and international tourists who took time to view the products and ask questions.
The Pasifika Business Market was located beside the Samoa Village in front of Western Springs Stadium and is part of PTI New Zealand’s Path to Market programme.
The Path to Market programme helps Pacific Islands businesses better understand the New Zealand market, working through a series of seven stages, starting with an in-country Path to Market workshop, followed by invitation to the Pasifika Festival in Auckland for potential export ready companies, then a Gap Analysis, Site visits and one-to-one business meetings for ongoing supply and partnerships.
On Monday and Tuesday after the Pasifika Festival participants could give feedback and observations during their Gap Analysis session. They could also hear from industry experts.
They attended sector site visits on Tuesday morning before returning to Te Mahurehure Marae for one-to-one business meetings, certificate presentations and a wrap up in the afternoon.
Many of the Path to Market participants said they had learned a lot about what they needed to do to improve their products and marketing.
“This was an eye-opener, I learned a great deal by interacting with others and learned a lot from the expert’s advice,” said a Path to Market participant.
“It helped me to identify who my buyers are and how I can develop my product,” said another.
Iva Reimers-Roberto, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Resources and Development in the Marshall Islands said the one-on-one business meetings following the Pasifika Festival was something she would look at recommending for their attendance at the annual Guam Festival which is held for the different countries of Micronesia.
PTI NZ worked closely with the Economic Development Agencies (EDAs) such as the Chambers of Commerce or the Investment Promotion Authorities (IPAs) in each of the countries to identify potential exporters. They also worked closely together with Lisa Siteine and her team at the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) team to ensure the first stand-alone pan- Pasifika Business Market’s success.
The Northern Pacific was represented by Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Marshall Islands bringing distinctive handicrafts to Pasifika.
Melanesia was represented by Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and for the first time French Polynesia, came from the Polynesian sub-region. The beginning of the new export journey for the Pacific has only just begun.