News 21 Mar 2018
The Fiji Export Council is one of Fiji Government’s Economic Development Agencies (EDA) that focuses on export promotion. Established in 2002 as ‘Exporters Club’ it was renamed Fiji Export Council in 2007 to better reflect its role in national export diversification and promotion.
“The six nominated Fijian companies at Pasifika will get a chance to see first-hand and have a better understanding of how to improve their products to ensure it can compete in the New Zealand market,” says FEC Business Development Manager Malcolm Ralisa.
Fiji Export Council is the in-country EDA partner for Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ’s Path to Market programme over the past few years and have jointly hosted capacity building workshops for exporters in Fiji.
The Council will lead a delegation of seven Fijian exporters to the Pasifika Festival in Auckland next month where more than 40 exporters from 11 Pacific Island countries will be exhibiting their products. The exporters will be housed at the specially designed Pasifika Business Market at the sprawling Western Springs precinct on March 24-25.
Participation at Pasifika is an important step in the PTI NZ Path to Market programme, where exporters meet potential buyers, importers and distributors face to face.
Pacific Periscope profiles these participating Fijian exporters below, beginning with an email conversation with Fiji Export Council’s Business Development Manager Malcolm Ralisa:
On Fiji exporters’ participation at Pasifika:
“The Pasifika Festival has over the past two years provided an ideal platform for our nominated companies’ to research their products and see how it appealed to the NZ Market. The Fiji Export Council has always stressed to our exporters and potential exporters that they need to explore markets abroad to understand what the market requires. The six nominated Fijian companies at the Pasifika Festival will get a chance to see first-hand and have a better understanding of how to improve their products to ensure it can compete in the New Zealand market.”
On expected outcomes:
“The main objective is to acquaint our nominated SMEs better with probable markets, network throughout the region thus enhancing their trading capabilities. In displaying our Fiji-made products at the same venue with our regional competitors from Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga, our delegates should be able to gauge how their products fare compared with our regional competitors.”
On the Path to Market programme:
“PTI NZ has been fundamental toward educating and further exposing Fiji exporters to markets that they otherwise hadn’t any inkling about. The ‘Path to Market’ programme is about market access and understanding what the market demands are. The programme provided a platform for us to engage directly with our SMEs and provide them with an update on the market trends and the various components involved to get their products to market. The results of those consultations have proved exceedingly and equally beneficial — for us to understand the key constraints faced by our SMEs at the domestic level and them to understand the landscape of an international marketplace.”
On the experience of companies that attended previous Pasifika festivals through PTI:
“Being exposed to the NZ market, our participants who were part of the Path to Market programme in previous years have learned that they had to make changes in their businesses to improve their products and be more competitive. Product development, be it through value-adding, packaging or labelling, were identified as the main areas our participants were focused on making changes.”
Mr Ralisa will be present at the Pasifika Business Market on March 24-25.
PTI NZ is hosting the Pasifika Business Market working with the Auckland Council Organisation ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development). Exporting companies from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau will be housed at the Pasifika Business Market.