Participants at the ‘Business Capability Building Workshop” for potential exporters.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) in partnership with Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand hosted a one day “Business Capability Building Workshop” for local businesses in Solomon Islands on Thursday 18th October 2018.

This is a free one-day workshop, which is part of the PTI New Zealand’s Pacific Path to Market business capability building programme, aimed at assisting businesses to be successful and in the future be able to enter the export market.

It is the first step in a seven (7) staged programme that can provide selected companies the opportunity to participate in a Trade Mission to New Zealand in 2019 to look at export opportunities for themselves.

This is the third successive year SICCI and PTI New Zealand had collaborated to host the Path to Market workshop in the Solomon Islands.

SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dennis Meone said this workshop provides an important platform for businesses to improve their capacity, learn and explore opportunities to build networks with other businesses.

“As a Chamber, we are open to partnership with other organizations and institutions such as PTI New Zealand in delivering knowledge and required skills to businesses through such trainings.

Mr Ian Furlong, Development Manager, at PTI New Zealand, who facilitated the workshop, said the Path to Market is an export capability building workshop designed for small businesses to be able to build their capabilities internally, and to export their products at some point going into the future.

“A number of these businesses will be invited to go to New Zealand on a trade mission around March next year.

“The objective of that is to learn about the New Zealand market, to sell their products to New Zealand customers and be able to talk to buyers and potential distributors in New Zealand who might be able to help them into the New Zealand market,” he said.

Mr Furlong, who has travelled extensively around the Pacific running these workshops, said there is plenty of opportunity for export in the Solomon Islands right now.

He said PTI New Zealand want to help local businesses realize their dreams of exporting outside of Solomon Islands which is good for them and good for the country’s economy.

“The success of this programme would not have been possible without our partners the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce, SICCI.

“This partnership has made this such a success and I’m confident it will continue going into the future and I thank SICCI for being our active partners,” Mr Furlong said.

Meanwhile, SICCI’s Export Industry Development Officer (EIDO), John Paul Alasia says hosting such a workshop falls in line with SICCI’s goal through its EIDO Department to progress relevant market access related activities to assist in export industry growth in Solomon Islands.

“SICCI is providing this opportunity for local businesses that are involved in Agriculture, Seafood and Handicraft to increase the knowledge and skills of their businesses so that they can be successful in the Solomon Islands and beyond,” he said.

Forty (40) local businesses from Honiara and some from the provinces who have met the set criteria participated at the workshop.

“To participate the selected registered businesses had to be in the agriculture, handicraft and seafood sector, provide evidence of current trading and businesses had to be export ready or planning to do so in the near future,” Mr Alasia said.

The workshop covers important areas for companies and businesses to be successful and provides a snapshot of the New Zealand market.

The topics include: The attributes of a successful company, the attributes of a successful product, what you should understand about your customers, the power of your packaging and how to use it to your advantage, snapshot of the NZ market, developing your company story, writing your value proposition, how to set prices and improve profitability, tips on selling your products, how to achieve the best results from Trade Shows.

SICCI acknowledge Pacific Trade Invest NZ for the partnership and looks forward for more collaboration going into the future.

The PTI Path to Market programme is also been hosted in other Pacific Island countries like Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Republic of Marshall Islands.

About the author

Philip Lilomo is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Philip writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Philip can be contacted on email: 

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