20 February 2023, Suva -Fiji: Pacific businesses exporting to the globe via the four trade investment offices of the Pacific Islands Forum have achieved record highs, despite the devastating impacts of the global COVID pandemic.
For 2022 the trade commission offices in Sydney, Auckland, Beijing and Geneva recorded a total of AUD71.3 million worth of goods and services from the Pacific, exported under their direct assistance into the markets in which they operate.
More than 2,000 businesses were serviced as well and more than AUD3.9million worth of investment deals were facilitated. The results show a 12 dollar return for every dollar invested into the Pacific Trade and Invest network.
Forum SG Puna says the record high level of achievement by the four PTI offices “were a stunning revelation as they wrapped up 2022, and great news for our Pacific exporters and companies.”
The figures for 2022 spiked from 2021 where the network reported over AUD34m worth of export deals facilitated, and more than 1,000 businesses assisted. PTI had also facilitated a total of AUD16.7m of investment deals.
“This, happening in the times of COVID-19 and deep supply chain disruptions for goods and services across the globe, is just a sign of phenomenal interest in Pacific-made, Pacific products – it’s an amazing Pacific success story.” SG Puna said.
The SG is the Chair of the Independent Advisory Board, a new governance mechanism for the Pacific Trade Invest. The external members Ms Vani Nades, Ms Michelle Macdonald, Mr Ian Clarke, and Mr Fletcher Melvin were appointed in April last year for a term of three years.
Ms Vani Nades is a business-owner with experience in corporate governance and operates as an ISP in Papua New Guinea. Ms Michelle Macdonald from Samoa brings to the advisory board, private sector experience particularly in manufacturing, exports, marketing, and strategic management. Australian national Mr Ian Clarke is a company law expert with experience in PNG and the Pacific as well as being involved in multiple Pacific Islands business councils. Mr Fletcher Melvin from Cook Islands has strong private sector advocacy experience with a long-running business in the tourism sector.
SG Puna expressed his hopes for the board over the course of its tenure.
“I look forward to working with these very experienced private sector representatives on the advisory board to ensure that PTI continues to build on its strong track record to date in delivering services for Members.”
“This week the Board met for the third time since its establishment, considering the implementation plans for the coming year and discussing the next steps for the PTI strategic plan for 2023-2024.”
“There is much to be gained for PTI in operating as a united group of offices, noting that their operations are currently funded by governments of Australia, New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China.”
“I am pleased to report unanimous agreement across the Board this week that PTI continues to be a valuable trade and investment promotion entity for Members, and a proficient time-tested entity that maximises all investments from partners.”–ENDS
PIF media contact: Lisaw@forumsec.org
The PIF Pacific Trade Invest network, PTI, works to improve the livelihoods of Pacific peoples through the sustainable economic development of the Blue Pacific. PTI is the Pacific region’s lead trade and investment promotion agency, tasked by Forum Leaders to facilitate trade and investment deals between the economies of the 16 Forum Member countries of the Blue Pacific, and the rest of the world. With the establishment of the South Pacific Trade Office in Auckland, then that in Sydney (1979), and Beijing (2002), together with the Geneva-based desk (2012), these offices now make up the global network of trade commissions under the Pacific Trade Invest umbrella. The offices are funded by host governments except for Europe. PTI Europe is funded under the Government of Australia arrangement which also provides for the PIFS Trade Office in Geneva.
The PTI network has an extensive market knowledge supported by rich networks in the Forum Member countries; the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands (Marshall Islands), Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.