News 6 Apr 2017
After a successful business mission in 2016, New Zealand Samoa Trade and Investment Commission (NZSTIC) is gearing up for a follow-up visit to Samoa in early June, coinciding with plenty of networking events and Super Rugby.
Last year – five years after it was launched, NZSTIC hosted its inaugural business mission to Samoa, attracting a 19-strong delegation which featured a wide range of representatives from various businesses and organisations.
Members from NZSTIC made new connections, and were introduced to government ministers and many other business leaders not normally accessible when travelling alone.
Frank PoChing, who has taken over the Chair’s role at NZSTIC this year, says it is important a follow-up Business Mission takes place during 2017 to build on from the inaugural mission last year.
“Strategic alliance and collaboration is key to maintain competitive advantage in the global economy, and therefore the business mission helps facilitate this goal for both private and public sectors between Samoa and New Zealand,” Frank says. ‘
The Commission anticipates approximately 12 participants, and the possibility of registrations closer to the June 5-6 visit to Apia.
Those travelling will mostly be members of NZSTIC, however, the trip is also open to non-members, but these non-members are required to join NZSTIC when they register to be part of the Business Mission, Frank adds.
Activities are still being confirmed currently, and these will be dependent on what industries are represented on the mission so Samoa counterpart can also be arranged
A few days prior to the Business Mission, on June 2, Super Rugby franchises the Blues and Reds are scheduled to clash at Apia Park, in Round 15 of the annual competition.
Although it is not on during the actual Business Mission, attendants have the option of arriving earlier and watching the match.
New Zealand already benefits from Samoa’s economy hugely, and this can increase if NZ invests more in Samoa, creating mutual benefits, Frank says.
“More importantly Samoa needs to increase and broaden its export products to New Zealand, and this can only happen if New Zealand allows this to happen and it supports economic development.”
Currently, Samoa is an attractive place to invest in as it offers a stable political system based on strong social and cultural structures and values, former NZSTIC Vice Chair Fonoti Dr Lafitai Fuatai says.
“It also offers a trained, productive and industrially adaptable work force that communicates well in English; competitive wage rates; free repatriation of capital and profits; well developed, reasonably priced, transport infrastructure, telecommunications, water supply and electricity; access to trade agreements and arrangements offering preferential terms,” Fonoti says.
These agreements include SPARTECA (NZ and Australia), GSPs (USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, NZ), Cotonou Agreement (ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement; and others, then on July 8, 2016, NZ and Samoa signed a Double Tax Agreement, he adds.
Samoa is also a member of the World Trade Organisation; it has attractive industry incentive packages; a stable financial environment with low inflation rate, a balanced budget and international reserves; relatively low corporate and income taxes; and residents enjoy a pleasant and sagely lifestyle.
If interested in attending the NZSTIC Business Mission to Samoa on June 5-6, contact Christine Connon: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NB: The Blues/Red Super Rugby game is optional to attend.
(Main picture captions: Apia Market and Apia Harbour, above).