Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ hosted Path to Market workshops in the Cook Islands and French Polynesia late last month to enthusiastic participation from potential exporters.

A path to Market session in progress in Rarotonga.

Path to Market is PTI NZ’s signature export capability building programme around the 16 Pacific Island Forum nations. PTI NZ created the programme, of which the workshops are an important part, to provide a multi-stage, structured approach for businesses to better understand exporting into the New Zealand market.

This was the first time that Path to Market workshops were held in the Cook Islands and French Polynesia.

PTI NZ works with the economic development agencies (EDA) in each country to identify potential exporters. In the Cook Islands, PTI NZ worked with Business trade & Investment Board (BTIB) and in French Polynesia, Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrie, des Services et des Métiers (CCISM) was the EDA partner for the workshops.

PTI Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong said there were some 20 companies that attended the workshop in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and 23 in Tahiti in French Polynesia. He delivered the workshops with PTI NZ Trade & Investment Commissioner Michael Greenslade.

The attendees were from a wide cross section of industry sectors, Mr Furlong said. Participants were drawn from the clothing, food and beverage, handicraft, cosmetics and textile sectors besides others.

“All were greatly interested in exporting their products to New Zealand,” Mr Furlong said.

New Zealand is both French Polynesia’s and the Cook Islands’ closest large market. “They see us a logical destination to export to,” he added.

A session in French Polynesia.

Mr Greenslade and Mr Furlong visited many of the participants at their businesses meeting many of them one-on-one to discuss details about exporting to New Zealand with a focus on the products each of them was looking forward to export.

“Ministry of Primary Industries regulations, packaging and labelling requirements for the New Zealand market and information on distribution and retailing,” were among the topics discussed, Mr Furlong said.

The workshop in predominantly francophone French Polynesia was a first for the Path to Market programme, Mr Furlong said. “The workshops took slightly longer to deliver because they were bilingual for the most part,” he said. The workbooks were also translated in advance and were bilingual as well.

CCISM Export International Trade Advisor Florian LeClercq said, “It was very exciting. A lot of companies welcomed enthusiastically this opportunity to meet trade advisor experts. It is a tremendous chance for French Polynesian companies and the CCISM to have PTI NZ coming here to provide us its experience about internationalisation process and New Zealand market.

“Moreover, they will be able to get information about [the] New Zealand market which is geographically and culturally our closest market.”

He said participants appreciated the bilingual content: “Translation of the booklet and the [presentation] was great and much appreciated. It was a great first experience which calls others I reckon.”

Mr Furlong said some of the businesses from the Path to Market workshops in French Polynesia would be participating in the forthcoming Fine Food New Zealand and Auckland Food Show that will be hosted in Auckland over the next two months. He said some of the companies were also planning on a trade mission to New Zealand later this year.

“PTI NZ will be happy to facilitate their meetings with potential importers and distributors here in New Zealand,” Mr Furlong said.

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

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