News 23 Jun 2017
Boundless opportunities in Samoa exist for New Zealand investors willing to partner with local business, which can then lead to more prosperous communities. Samoa Trade Commissioner Fonoti Dr Lafitai Fuatai says these opportunities are not necessarily get-rich-quick schemes, but opportunities to be molded and nurtured over time to achieve the projected outcomes.
Earlier this month, the New Zealand Samoa Trade and Investment Commission (NZSTIC) staged a business mission to Apia, in association with the Samoa Trade Consulate, the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Samoa Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Samoa Business Network.
NZSTIC Chairman Frank Po Ching says these organisations have a shared goal of facilitating more business opportunities between NZ and Samoa through NZ entities seeking Samoa strategic partners, products, and offering expert services.
“The mission was very successful where all the companies represented on the mission had successful meetings with local partners and government agencies,” the Chairman adds.
A cross-section of NZ businesses attended the mission, including representatives from telecommunications, training organisations, manufacturing industry, shipping industry and management consultancies.
Throughout the week, the delegation attended a business forum; went on site visits; attended a function at the NZ High Commission, where the delegation met NZ High Commissioner to Samoa, HE David Nicholson.
During the week, companies arranged individual meetings with local partners, government officials and agencies and attended a Samoa Business Network function, providing ample time to network and nurture existing relationships.
The highlight of the mission for NZSTIC, was seeing NZ companies make solid connections with potential partners, Frank adds.
A key outcome from the mission has been gaining Samoa’s support for a proposed beef model farm project, which has been on the table for a few years.
“NZSTIC is working toward making this project a reality as it will bring tremendous economic benefit to Samoa,” Frank says.
“The next step is to discuss with the New Zealand Government about its support for the project which was initially pledged some six years ago, but nothing happened.
“NZSTIC is now pushing this project toward a business case phase but its needs initial funding from the New Zealand Government for this to happen.”
The Commission is anticipating a meeting with Prime Minister Bill English to discuss the project, the Chairman adds.
Business missions of this type predominantly benefit NZ companies and therefore the NZ economy for the most part, Frank says.
“The Samoa Government and Samoa Chamber of Commerce have been very supportive of this mission, as well as last year’s mission - this support is both financial and in managing logistics.
“NZSTIC is very grateful for the support from Samoa, and future business missions to Samoa will be scheduled every two years or on a need-to-basis.”
(Picture caption: This year's Business Mission to Samoa delegation.)