Monday 5 December 2016
The Pacific Islands Trade & Investment (PTI) agency successfully met with exporters in Honiara in a bid to open up the New Zealand market to Solomon Islanders.
Twenty attendants from 15 export companies went through a day-long programme with PT&I that is spearheaded by the PT&I (NZ) Auckland branch with support from the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI).
Ian Furlong, the trade development manager of PT&I (NZ) described the training a big success and one that has attracted very keen interest compared with the programme in other Pacific countries.
It is the first time for PT&I to engage the Solomon Islands in this programme and is among 10 Pacific island countries to undergo the training this year.
The PT&I team will travel to Port Vila, Vanuatu next.
“There was good attendance and the people were good. Our objective is to help exporters in their business and the training on Thursday was very positive,” said Furlong.
Furlong conducted the training with PT&I COO & Head of Investment, Manuel Valdez.
Participants were briefed on the New Zealand market, the requirements and finances needed as well as selling and buying options.
The programme also equipped participants on effective business planning methods and marketing skills needed.
“At present most (Solomon Islanders) aren’t exporting to the New Zealand market and part of this programme is to encourage this market.
“New Zealand is an ideal market for entrepreneurs in the Solomon Islands and from the training we’ve found that the participants are very interested and want to know more.”
Thursday’s training, however is just the first phase of six steps of the programme.
Some five or six companies of the 15 who attended will be selected to join a sales mission to New Zealand next year. From there the attending companies will learn more of the mission and will get the opportunity to meet buyers where they can build their own relationship.
The programme runs through a timeline until March 2017.
SICCI Business Analyst Charles Persson who joined the programme on Thursday described it as highly professional with a great two-way interaction making attendees think creatively about their products.
“This programme provides excellence skills and networks for businesses to grow and access new markets.”
SICCI acknowledges the importance of exports to the Solomon Islands economy and looks forward to the next stage.