04 July 2012
1. The MSG Secretariat has recently participated at the recent Pasifika Trade Expo held from 25-27 June 2012. The Trade fair was held at the Sheraton hotel in Denarau Island, Nadi. The MSG Secretariat was represented by Mrs. Mere Falemaka, Director Trade & Investment (DTID) and Mr. John Licht, Trade Policy Adviser (TPA).
2. The Pasifika trade expo gathered around 50 exhibitors comprising of large businesses to SMEs and others such as NGO related associations and individually owned businesses.
3. The Melanesia region makes up about the bulk of the exhibitors to the trade fair with the bulk from Fiji-based companies such as the FMF Foods, Food Pacific Ltd, Motibhai Group, Cas Scales, Williams & Goslings and Fosters Group Fiji to name a few. Exhibitors from the other MSG countries included: Vanuatu (Tanna Coffee and Lapita), Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Women in Business Association, Kokonut Pacific and Fragrance Flowers) and PNG (BSB Bank, Bris Kan and Innovative Training Services). There were also Investment Promotion Agencies representatives Fiji, and PNG.
4. The expo also hosted 3 informative workshops with experts panelists for specific topics covering: 1) ‘Export-worth the business’ 2) ‘Trade Agreements – are you aware?’ and 3) ‘Valuable insights – Improving your access to markets’. The workshop panelists were invited from a wide spectrum of regional and international organizations and companies/groups and comprised of the following: ANZ Bank, Transam Fiji Ltd, OCO, SPC – Land Resources Division, Fiji Ports Authority, OCTA, PIFS, MSG, PHAMA (AusAID), Fairtrade New Zealand and PITI from New Zealand, Australia and Geneva)
5. Funding and organization for this trade fair was made possible through sponsorships from the regional organizations including MSG and the whole organization of the event was led by PIPSO. This also received the assistance of the Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association and Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation in collaboration with regional partners including the UNDP-Pacific Centre, SPC, MSG and PIFS. There were also funding and other support from companies including: Williams & Goslings Ltd, Air Pacific, Air Terminal Services, Fiji TV and Ministry of Industry and Trade – Fiji.
MSG Key Undertakings at the Trade Fair
1. The Director of Trade & Investment delivered a statement on Day 2 (Tuesday 26 June) of the trade expo under the workshop theme of ‘Trade Agreements – Are you aware?”. This workshop focused on updates and discussions on the various regional trade agreements that the Pacific is trading under or are currently negotiating, namely: MSG Trade Agreement, PICTA and PACER Plus.
2. The MSG team was able to create new networks with a number of private sector and NGO representatives including company representatives especially those from the MSG region.
3.The exhibition also offered an opportunity to sample a number of the products being displayed in various exhibition booths, particularly those from MSG Members. A small range of products was brought back with brochures and information packs.
4. The MSG Secretariat in collaboration with the PIPSO Steering Committee also organized printing of the MSG Trade Agreement Rules of Origin Handbook. The Secretariat offered 130 copies of the handbook to PIPSO for circulation to their Members.
5.The PIPSO 4th AGM was held after the trade fair on 28 June 2012 in Nadi and MSG was invited to attend as an observer. The Trade Policy Adviser attended the PIPSO AGM on behalf of the MSG. This provided an opportunity for MSG to reflect on the successes, achievements and growth of the PIPSO. That AGM also elected the new Chair of PIPSO, Mr. Paula Taumoepeau who now replaces Mr. Hafiz Khan as the former Chair.