Buy Samoa Made Export-to China Exhibition hailed a success

By Soli Wilson 22 October 2019, 3:00PM

Local businesses have hailed the Buy Samoa Made Export-to China Exhibition yesterday as a huge success.

They had the opportunity to link up with some 200 Chinese companies that came along for the 3rd China-Pacific Economic Development and Cooperation Forum.

Samoa Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Lemauga Hobart Vaai, said about 140 local businesses registered to attend the Exhibition.

At the opening of the event, Samoa’s plans to increase its exports to $300 million by 2025 was made known. The goal to establish Samoa as a major Pacific Export Hub for Fish and Agricultural exports to China and the world was also highlighted.

Business woman, Shantonia Sione of the Moatoga Complex, said the Forum was enlightening, especially when they sat with representatives from international markets in the same room.

"It has been a really great opportunity for all of us; [there is] a bigger market, we have the opportunity to broaden our vision more internationally," she said.

"I know with us being a developing country, we still look at things small because we are small and still developing but this was a very good opportunity for us to think global, and look at the international markets and have our name out there.

"Chinese people are really really down-to-earth people, they are really easy going.

"You know, they need business, we need business too. And I guess when you gather around people that think alike, it is really easy, it's natural and things just come together."

Her family company covers a range of businesses ranging from a large furniture production, a Deluxe Hotel, Restaurant as well as a salon.

They are still looking to expand.

The business forum has been crucial in establishing necessary relationships for the future of their business, says Ms. Sione.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Adrian Chen, Manager and Stephen Dong, General Manager of Shanghai WELLINK International Supply Chain Management Company Limited.

"It has provided an opportunity to get to know the local manufacturers and got a chance to talk to them and I think it has been the best opportunity," said Manager Chen.

"There is a lot of waters, pure waters and the one we saw is an fresh oil from nuts which can relieve muscles and cure scars which is something special and don't see on other markets.

According to the company's website, WELLINK is a professional logistics and supply chain service provider, taking the first-class logistics and supply chain services as their goal. Their core business includes freight forwarding, logistics solution, trade agent and supply chain finance. a professional logistics and supply chain service provider, WELLINK takes the first-class logistics and supply chain services as our goal. 

Chen said this is the first time their company has been to Samoa and it was the relationship between Samoa and the Chinese government motivated them want to take part in this forum and they do not regret it.

"We saw the good between the (two) governments might reduce the tariffs for import," he said.

"There is a really strong market here and this is the most exciting experience we have had here."

C.E.O. Lemauga said with the short notice of at least three days to prepare a forum, he is glad they were able to deliver the opportunity for the local businesses to meet with the visiting Chinese businesses, saying it "was highly demanded by the members."

By Soli Wilson 22 October 2019, 3:00PM

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