Skyline represents Samoa at Silk-Road International Expo

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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CHECKING THE PRODUCE: Visitors to the Expowandered amongst the booths from 50 different countries.

CHECKING THE PRODUCE: Visitors to the Expowandered amongst the booths from 50 different countries.

More than 70 countries and regions gathered together at the Dongguan Guandong in South China on the 27th October 2016 for the 2016 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk-Road International Expo. 

Amongst the Pacific islands booth there was a Samoan booth displaying some for the art work from the island nation. 

The Samoan booth was represented by a Chinese business, Skyline Samoa which started their operations in Samoa just over a year ago. 

The international Expo was an initiative by the Chinese Government as an exchanging platform between China and those countries located on the south side of China. 

In light of the economic and trade features and industry practice of the “Belt and Road” initiative 2015 Expo set up one theme exhibition and six professional exhibitions and attracted 1394 exhibitors both at home and abroad. 

Of the exhibitors, 978 came from 50 foreign countries and regions accounting for 70% of the total. 

This year about 38 nationals’ pavilions were established to fully display their charms in terms of tourism, food, art ware and so on by overseas exhibitors in groups.

The Skyline is co-founded by Allan Cai from Samoa and Bob Chen from China, mainly to engage the establishment of factories to process Samoa’s agricultural products and then export them out to the bigger markets like China. 

The Chinese company, Skylineis has a local advantage in marketing, because in just six months of promotion in China, it has become a well-known brand in the Nonu industry. 

Skyline’s nonu juice is being exported to China, Japan, the Cook Islands and Hong Kong. 

Their main focused is mainly the Nonu Juice, but will develop more other agricultural products in the future, including sasalapa, paw paw, pineapple etc. 

According to the Vice President of Skyline Bob Chen, the company was established to help the people of Samoa. 

They have employed a few locals to help with the collection of the Nonu from the rural areas as well as the big island of Savaii and they pay them cash. 

“As the market grows larger in the future, the local people will benefit more from it and it will promote the local employment,” said Mr Chen. 

“With the promotion of Samoa’s nonu juice in China and the world, it is beneficial to improve Samoa’s and China’s popularity in the world and also advance the development of tourism and investment in Samoa.” 

Skyline’s beverages will not only help reduce the dependence on imports, push forward the local light industry development but they also hope to maximize the exports to the neighboring countries. 

One of the shareholders of the company Allan Cai, said their main purpose is to help local people. 

Mr Cai said Samoa is rich with these kinds of fruits and they want to make use of them but not to waste them. 

Because they believed Samoa’s agricultural products have the advantages of no fertilizer used, mainly grown naturally and with no industrial pollution. 

Mr Chen said the people of Samoa are friendly and hospitable and the government welcomes the foreign countries and supports agricultural exports. 

“Everyone and every customer who comes to Samoa are greatly impressed by the warmth of the people, the hospitality of the country and the beauty of Samoa’s ecology,” he added. 

“We all like Samoa, it is why the Chinese like Samoa and why Skyline set up factories in Samoa.” 

Skyline also gets the great support and encouragement from the people and the government of Samoa. 

Chen said the encouragement and support from the government of China as well as the encouragement from customers all over the world and the increase of orders will make them go a long way. 

However, they also encountered many difficulties, because in the world countries in the vicinity of the equator have rice produce of nonu, while the population of China accounts for one-fifth of the world. 

95% of the market share has been mainly accounted for by the cultivation of China, Tahiti, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries for 10 years. 

Compared to them, Samoa is not that popular and they need long-term and large investment in publicity. 

The countries with low tariffs are close to China, and transport is more convenient because the transport from Samoa to China takes a month and a half. 

Skyline Samoa has to deal with the prices for these countries who have large sales and low prices. 

They also find the difficulties because of the trade agreement between China and Samoa only lists the Nonu Juice therefore other agricultural products cannot be exported to China. 

Mr Chen said they are losing revenue however the situation is same for other tropical fruit, they can only set up a factories in Samoa to do the initial processing into juice and sell it. 

However, Skyline has confidence in the promotion of Samoa’s agricultural products to the world and China. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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