The Samoa Trade & Investment Commission (STIC) and Samoa Business Network (SBN) joined together to welcome the new Trade Commissioner, the Honourable Magele Mauiliu Magele for Samoa Independence Day on Thursday 7 June 2018.
About 100 attendees braved a bone-chilling Auckland winter night to enjoy a warm reception at the Fale o Samoa in Mangere, Auckland.
Consul General of Samoa in New Zealand, Faolotoi Reupena Pogi and the Samoa Consulate General team were also there marking the occasion.
For NZSTIC and SBN the jointly-hosted event celebrated Samoa’s ongoing trade relationship with New Zealand and the strengthening ties between Samoa and New Zealand businesses.
It also gave local Auckland based businesses such as Soy Delights promoting their deliciously scented soy candles, soaps and diffusers and IT company 7e an opportunity to exhibit their products.
The organisers behind the event, SBN’s Afamasaga Jackie Curry, Laura Keil and NZSTIC Chair Frank Po Ching stepped into the spotlight to introduce themselves and their organisations before handing the mic to the guest speakers.
Samoa Trade Commissioner Magele was first as keynote speaker, followed by David Wong Tung, NZSTIC Commissioner and member, and Moananu Tyrone Laurenson, Programme Manager for High Tech Youth Network Samoa.
Pacific Periscope interviewed the new Trade Commissioner Magele Mauiliu Magele at his offices – see accompanying Pacific Periscope’ story in this edition. He talked about his appointment to Trade Commissioner by the Prime Minister and announced the first Green Banana shipments from Samoa to New Zealand in September along with a Trade Mission to Samoa planned for later in the year.
David Wong Tung, a familiar figure, a lawyer and entrepreneur used his time to recall the start of the Samoa Trade & Investment Commission. The informal meetings and discussions over a beer at local restaurants. The organisation had come a long way since with several prominent Samoan business people on the board throughout the years. He pointed to the many successes including the first Invest Samoa Conference in September 21, 2012 and various trade missions to and from Samoa. He noted the new port development in Samoa would be a true game changer for the country, opening the way for increased international trade.
Moananu Tyrone Laurenson, Programme Manager for the Youth Network project gave a power point presentation on the popular new IT courses. The courses have been hugely popular attracting some 800 students weekly to the new facilities that includes a suite of the latest new computers, 3-D printing and a music and film studio. It is a dream for youth from 8-25 years old and opens the door on their digital future.
Moananu gave examples of a student who had never used computers, creating and printing a poem with fonts and texts proudly showing it to his family. Another student taught himself to use a 3-D printer to create a small-scale model of a traditional Samoan fale. He found his own techniques using the programme to create the structure’s rounded oblong roof. Moananu said the programme largely had volunteer tutors, students were self-taught and could use the computers for free.
Afamasaga Jackie Curry finished with a series of announcements and activities planned by SBN and NZSTIC for the rest of the year. This included their first promotional trip to Australia and a trade mission later in the year to Samoa. Formalities concluded, the evening continued with light refreshments and networking.
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