Pacific Expo to bring trade, investment opportunity

Samoan industry can take advantage of new trade and investment opportunities with Australia, Asia and the broader Pacific following a new regional forum showcasing opportunities for business and tourism, a peak manufacturing body says. 

The inaugural Pacific Exposition was held earlier this month at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland, New Zealand and attendees spanned export and tourism industries from 16 Pacific countries, including Samoa, Indonesia and Australia. 

The Samoa Association of Manufacturers & Exporters (S.A.M.E.) and the Government Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Commerce, Industry and Labour; Communications and Information Technology; and the Samoa Tourism Authority say they will work collaboratively to capitalise on opportunities from the forum. 

To facilitate this process, a special sub-committee of the delegates, headed by the Minister of Telecommunication & Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, was formed at the Expo to follow up and continue business and networking opportunities. 

Local products that were displayed included: 

  • Samoa Pure Water’s range of export-quality water; 
  • Pacific Foods International’s snack products: breadfruit and banana flour and various teas; 
  • Wilex Samoa’s new range of Koko Loa chocolates and drinking chocolate products and its new range of Noni Loa in pouches and bottles infused with tropical fruits - Krissy’s Peepee - Savaii Popo;  
  • Taula’s beverages; 
  • Vaoala Vanilla; and 
  • WE Accounting services.

Minister Afamasaga  spoke to both the conference's Tourism and the Business and Investment Forums on the topics of “Improving Connectivity across Tourism Destination” and “Information and Communication Technology and the Pacific” respectively. 

Samoa’s delegation included the President of S.A.M.E., Tagaloa Eddie Wilson; Kitiona Pogi of the Samoa Tourism Authority; Tusa Victor and Nua Vaai of Samoa Pure Water; Papalii Grant Percival of Pacific International Foods; Harlan Mauli Wilson of Wilex Samoa and a representative from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour Tauatia Tuimauga. 

The four-day event boasted a tourism forum, a Business and Investment Forum, a Cultural Forum, Business Matching, Arts and Cultural Festival, Exhibitions and live Concerts featuring various Pacific artists and performers

"The [Pacific] region as a single tourism destination package will open an opportunity to shape [its] image as the new tourism powerhouse," said Tantowi Yahya, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga. 

"Indonesia is a potential hub for products and goods from the Pacific to reach [the] southeast Asian market, and vice versa."

The event was sponsored and organised by Indonesia and supported by the governments of New Zealand and Australia. 

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