As part of quarterly stakeholder engagement and reporting activities, Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) NZ Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade and Chief Operating Officer and Head of Investment Manuel Valdez met with key stakeholders New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) and the Pacific Islands Heads of Missions (PIHOM) in Wellington earlier this month. This was the second quarterly meeting this year.
The Trade Commissioner briefed NZ MFAT’s key officials on a range of topics such as PT&I’s 2015 annual report, ongoing activities, projects and expected outputs particularly on trade and investment portfolios, the 2016 Work Plan, Private Sector Dialogue Meeting in September, Pacific Islands Forum Leader’s Meeting, the Pacific Energy Summit, the Pacific Wave Conference, NZ Partnership Fund and other business matters. The group is also looking at adopting a best practice benchmarking system for delivery of services to the key stakeholders in the Pacific Island countries.
Mr. Greenslade and Mr. Valdez visited the seven Pacific Heads of Mission while in Wellington. This was the first time that a PT&I Trade Commissioner and senior staff visited all the Pacific Heads of Mission underscoring the commitment of the trade commission to work closely with the Pacific Island Forum countries through the good offices of their envoys in New Zealand. Trade Commissioner Mr Greenslade reiterated PT&I’s assurance to the Heads of Missions on promoting trade and investment in the Pacific Islands.
Discussions with the PIHOM raised such issues as biosecurity and the need for Pacific countries and NZ Ministry of Primary Industries (NZ MPI) to discuss and resolve challenges in order to increase the export of Pacific goods to New Zealand and narrow the gap of the burgeoning trade imbalances with the Pacific Island countries.
Among the other key engagements was the breakfast meeting with Mr. Greenslade and Mr. Valdez with Winnie Laban, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Pasifika) of Victoria University. During the meeting, the group discussed establishing a strong relationship between the Victoria University and PT&I Auckland Office. Ms. Laban, a former Member of Parliament, invited PT&I to tap academia in helping promoting and educating Pacific people on new business innovation and technology.
Mr Greenslade and Mr Valdez have expressed thanks to Sarah Short, Development Manager, Pacific Regional and International Financial Institutions; Partnerships, Humanitarian, and Multilateral Division for organising the meeting with key people in NZ MFAT.