Members of the Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters (S.A.M.E) have returned from Thailand with a spring in their step, ready with new ideas to improve their work.
Following initial consultations between S.A.M.E and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Thailand, Virasakdi Futrakul, in Apia, a delegation of S.A.M.E representatives visited Thailand at the beginning of the month.
Led by the President, Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, the delegation included John Seedhouse (Noras Plantation-Rep-Food & Beverage Sector); Galumalemana Patrick Rasmussen (Samoa Paints-Rep. Build Industry Sector); Fauono Sina Mualia (S.R.O.S rep.
Agriculture & Agri-Process sector); Francisco Cafferelli (Building Sector) and Nash Yoshida (Manufacturing/Aqua-Sector).
The delegation initially held consultations with the Thailand Office of S.A.M.E and Thailand P.I.F.S Office.
They then visited the Panus Poultry Farm, the 2nd largest in Thailand; the Wonnapob Rice Mill (one of the largest in the world); the Boonsawang Aqua-farm (Sea Perch Farm); Utong- Area 7 –DASTA (Designated Area Sustainable Tourism Admin); Theppadungporn Coconut Co Ltd; the Tropicana Oil Co; and SCG Heim (Prefab Buildings).
At the end of the visit, the S.A.M.E delegation and Thailand Ambassador Maris Sangiampongsa discussed means and ways for ongoing cooperation between the two countries.
They key outcomes nclude:
1. Training opportunities under the Thailand-P.I.F.S technical training program;
2. Joint Product Development & Research initiatives;.
3. Cooperation on Trade Promotions in the Pacific & Asia;
4. Business & Investment Partnering;
5. Annual Visits from selected members/industry reps to relevant industries in Thailand;
6. Facilitation of visiting Thailand SME/Industry Reps; Trade & Investment initiatives.
“The key findings lessons from the Mission point to the successful integrative and cooperative approach by the Government; Private Sector and support organizations in developing and promoting small and medium enterprises from development phase all the way to export/growth,” a statement from S.A.M.E said.
“Strong support is provided in the areas of capacity building for processors, manufacturers; product development and research to market; trade promotion; export development and financing.”
Tagaloa said these are all areas S.A.M.E is engaged in to assist its members, however, the remaining key challenges outside its control are access to competitive finance and raw material supply.
“The visit and adopted strategies going forward will ensure and enhance the competitiveness of our local manufacturers and exporters of goods and services.”
S.A.M.E will be making a detailed presentation to its members and interested stakeholders at its Monthly meeting at Le Alaimoana Hotel-Vaiala this Wednesday.
To be hosted by Wilex Samoa, the meeting starts at 5.30pm.