SICCI Export Industry Development Officer (EIDO), John Paul Alasia (far right) with the owner of local Solomon Islands businesses who will be participating at New Zealand’s Path to the Pacific Trade Show this year.

Five local businesses from the Solomon Islands will showcase, sell their products and explore new market opportunities at New Zealand’s Path to the Pacific Trade Show at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront on Saturday 6th April 2019.

This was made possible through the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) with support from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) and Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand.

The ‘Path to the Pacific Trade Show’ features a wide range of sectors from food & beverage and handicraft to jewellery, fashion, nutraceuticals, clothing & garments and much more.

Forty companies from ten Pacific Island countries are attending the event.

The Solomon Islands Path to Market delegation left the country on the 4th of April 2019 led by SICCI’s Export Industry Development Officer (EIDO), Mr John Paul Alasia.

Mr Alasia is excited with the opportunity to showcase and promote Solomon Islands’ products in the New Zealand market.

Mr Alasia was part of a Path to Market delegation at the 2018 Pasifika festival in Auckland.

“All the five companies are new to the New Zealand market and this opportunity provides a platform to test, and market their products as well as build networks.

“Solomon Islands is very privileged to be part of this event going forward because as a small export base economy, finding the right market for our emerging products is very important and this event provides that space,” Mr Alasia said.

The five companies representing Solomon Islands at this year’s NZ Path to Market programme are selected from more than 30 small businesses who have attended SICCI-PTI NZ in-country capacity-building training in Honiara last year 2018.

Solomon Islands will be represented by Chottu’s Guadalcanal Products Ltd producing Noni Juice; Bethlehem Community Handicraft; Nautilus will display a wide range of Arts and crafts from Malaita and Western Provinces; Solkava will promote their finely-grounded kava sourced from the highlands of Malaita and Isabel.

Technical Institute of Malaita through their Gemology Department is taking a forward step from their humble beginning in Malaita to participate in this year Pacific Trade Invest NZ show.

There will be a variety of products from the precious stones of the Solomon Islands on display during the trade show.

For Charlie Sango, of Bethlehem Community Handicraft from Malaita Province, this is a rare opportunity and the first time to make such trip since deciding to commercialize his products five years ago.

“I’m really looking forward for a successful trip in terms of securing potential markets for my products,” Mr Sango said.

“I have tried for a very long time to achieve something like this, finally SICCI has given me this opportunity and appreciate the work the Chamber is doing in opening up opportunities such as this for us the five local businesses attending this year’s Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand show,” he added.

Bethlehem Community Handicraft become a member of SICCI last year. Mr Sango will be showcasing a range of traditional handmade cane baskets known as Loyacane Basket making.

Nautilus Books and Gifts offers a wide range of products made from natural materials, including mats, shell jewellery, weavings, carvings and paintings and owner Naomi Tozaka is looking for more exposure for her products.

“SICCI has provided a very good opportunity for us small businesses to not only showcase our products at the event but also to look and learn more about what other businesses from around region are doing.

“In the future I want to see more businesses take up such opportunities,” Ms Tozaka said.

Ian Furlong, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager said, “This is a great opportunity for New Zealand businesses to view first-hand Pacific products that are aimed at the New Zealand market and meet the people behind these businesses personally to explore potential deals.

“So, if you are a business interested in distribution and selling, this is an opportunity to get involved and see 40 businesses all under one roof.”

The Pacific Island delegation will also participate in other aspects of the multi-staged PTI NZ Path to Market programme during their five-day stay in Auckland like meeting with potential buyers and distributors, site visits, gap analyses workshops besides other activities designed to facilitate exports into New Zealand.

SICCI as a private sector representative acknowledges Pacific Trade Invest (PTI NZ) for organizing the week-long event for export market-ready businesses from the Pacific including Solomon Islands to attend and test potential markets fort their products.

SICCI also would like to acknowledge the Pacific Horticulture & Agricultural Market Access plus Program (PHAMA PLUS Program) and the Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Commerce for supporting these small businesses in their preparation and travel arrangements including airfares to New Zealand.

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: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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