The Courtesy Visit – New Assignment to Apia

The courtesy visit. A few weeks ago, the PTI office received a courtesy visit from the New Assignment to Apia Ms. Ella Risati and Second Secretary to the High Commissioner MFAT in Apia. Ms. Risati was also accompanied by Senior Adviser, Pacific Connections of NZ MFAT Joe Fuavao and the visiting team met with Acting Trade & Investment Manuel Valdez and Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong. They discussed several interesting topics especially the trade and investment activities of PTI in Samoa. Ms. Ella was briefed by Mr. Valdez about the long – time business relationship of the private sector in Samoa and how several exporters have utilized the same to retail their products in the New Zealand  market. Speaking of investments, the PTI Office had its first – ever Return to Roots Mission to Samoa in 2007 and many NZ- based Samoan business people joined the Business Mission.

During this same period, Acting Trade & Investment Commissioner Mr. Valdez rolled out the Financial Literacy Workshop with the seasonal workers and no less than the Samoa Trade Commissioner was tasked with the duty of delivering the presentation in their local  language in order to help participants understand fully and instill in their minds the importance of spending their hard – earned income from the orchard farms. In the Trade sector, the Path to Market Workshop is an innovative capacity building program that was
designed to upskill exporters and would – be exporters to sell their commodities to the New Zealand market.

This program utilizes a 7 -stage approach which includes the workshop in the host country, attending the annual trade show in New Zealand, a one day refresher course when they come to Auckland, gap analysis workshop after the trade show, meeting with buyers and importers, talking to business mentors, and debriefing on the last day of the week-long activity in Auckland. Mr. Valdez also mentioned to Ms. Ella that the PTI Office has gone the extra length to establish a good rapport with the High Commission Office in Apia. The PTI staff normally pays a courtesy call to the High Commissioner’s Office whenever they are in Apia to brief them about the trade and investment facilitation activity with the local private sector. Mr. Risati, says, “let’s continue the close coordination and collaboration between the two offices and enhance trade and investment development in Samoa.”

For more information email PTI NZ Acting Trade & Investment Commissioner Manuel Valdez at

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