Samoa China business seminar deepens trade ties

The Samoa-China business seminar held yesterday aimed to deepen the trade ties between the two economies through greater exchange of goods from nonu juice, heavy machinery, tuna and everything in between.

Present were delegates and members of the Chinese business community, exporters, tourism, operators, private sector organisations and the Chamber of Commerce.

The event was organised by Trade Invest China in collaboration with Samoa's Embassy in China.

 It was supported by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Samoa Tourism Authority.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.), Lopaoo Natanielu Mua, declared the Samoa-China Business Seminar officially opened.

The seminar offered the continuation of growth in investment opportunities for industry and a combined range of export facilitation services information and deeper understanding of the market opportunities in China.

Participants also learnt about market expectations and trends to complement export and tourism plans for China.

“We have today a [range] of industry experts from China who will share some insights into their work and provide guidance to you our local businesses planning to enter the Chinese market,” he said.

“I am also pleased to have in our midst senior officials from the General Administration of Customs of China (C.A.G.), an important component of exports facilitation to give you our exporters an understanding of import standards and market access protocols."

He encouraged the local exporters to utilise the opportunity to discuss with the China Academy of Governance, the prospect of increasing Samoan export volumes of nonu juice and powder, coconut oil, cream and products, frozen taro, tuna species such as albacore, big eye, and yellow fin.

“We want them all to be sent to China as China has a huge population who need and want to taste our products,” he said.

As the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa, Lopaoo said he would like to see more efforts placed in strengthening the linkages between agriculture industries and tourism sectors in Samoa.

“Over 25 per cent of our tourism in the last few years has been spent on imported food items mainly from our tourism industry,” he said.

“I am happy to inform you that through our various partnerships with our farmers, including our Samoa-China agricultural technical aid project that has been in existence for the last five years, Samoa farmers are now producing high quality nutritious fresh vegetables."

Lopao'o said that Samoa has the potential to do so, not individually but collectively, referring to the ancient proverb that one man goes far but many go further,.

China's Ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang, expressed his sincere gratitude to the Ambassador of Samoa in the People’s Republic of China, Tapusalaia Terry To'omata, for his kind invitation.

The seminar precedes the arrival of a big delegation from China to Samoa today for China Pacific Cooperation Forum.

The deleation is led by the Vice Premier of China, Hu Chunhua plus eight Vice Ministers and almost 200 private sector people from China.

“There are 280 delegates from China who will be arriving tomorrow (today) for the forum, so it is quite a large delegation,” he said.

“In my view, I think the private sector should make use of the opportunity given the large number of participants from China who are from the private sector to meet with them during a match-making session on Monday."

He said that this provides an opportunity for local private sector to meet up with the Chinese private sector.

“To have it here in Samoa makes it much better for us because there are not many private sector people from other countries who are attending the forum as it costs quite a lot to travel to Samoa from their countries."

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