Vanuatu Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Joe Natuman and a delegation of senior Vanuatu officials recently visited the Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) office in Sydney.
Caleb Jarvis, PT&I Australia Trade Commissioner and Vanuatu Trade Commissioner to Australia Mr. Donald Pelam welcomed the delegation, which included Marokon Alilee, Vanuatu Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB) Director General and George Iapson, First Political Advisor to the Vanuatu Deputy Prime Minister.
The delegation was familiarised with PT&I’s work around the region and especially in Vanuatu with a presentation by Trade Commissioner Jarvis and Mr Pelam. The Vanuatu Trade Commissioner to Australia is based at PT&I’s Sydney offices, which Mr Jarvis said was an encouraging move that showed Vanuatu’s commitment to trade and investment promotion. Mr Natuman and Mr Alilee said they would be looking the possibility of an extension of Mr Pelam’s tenure following a request from Mr Jarvis.
Mr. Pelam advised the delegation that there was growing interest among distributors, investors and seasonal workers programme employers in Australia that in deepening engagement with Vanuatu’s exporters and industry. He said there were possibilities to see Vanuatu products imported into Australian markets and driving investment by Australian investors into Vanuatu as also getting more Australians travelling to Vanunu as a top tourism destination while getting more Ni-Vanuatu to come to Australia to work on different farms within different states in Australia.
Mr Natuman said he was proud to have been associated with PT&I since its earliest days. “I am one of the Pacific Island forum leaders who pioneered the establishment of PT&I within Australia and New Zealand during that time back in 80’s and 90’s and now am so happy to come and visit what I and the other Pacific leaders had visualised,” he said. He appreciated the fact that PT&I was hosting Vanuatu Trade Commissioner at its offices to help Vanuatu’s economic development.
Mr. Alilee mentioned said, “Having a Government rep as the Vanuatu Trade Commissioner to Australia is timely and encouraging because it reflects the Vanuatu Trade policy framework within the Ministry of Trade, Tourism, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business.
“It will complement the value chain from production to market which is the ministry’s responsibility in locating distributors and linking them with the Vanuatu manufactures or producers to get their products into Australia markets.”
Mr Pelam underscored the importance for Pacific Island leaders to stay closely in touch with the trade offices. “It’s very important for our 14 Pacific Island leaders and relevant Government ministries and departments and the private sector to make time to visit either one of the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest within Sydney, New Zealand, Europe, China and Japan to learn from them what they are doing in assisting their small island nation in relation to export, tourism, investment, and economic development,” he said.