New Caledonia’s Pacific diplomats call in at PTI NZ

New Caledonia diplomats at the PTI NZ offices with Manuel Valdez (centre) and Joe Fuavao (right)

A team of diplomats from New Caledonia called on the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand offices in Auckland recently.

The diplomats will be representing the French territory in four member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Cecilia Madeline who will be assigned in Wellington, Alexandre Lafargue who will be posted in Papua New Guinea, Gaston Wadrawane in Vanuatu and Rose Wete in Fiji all visited PTI NZ to meet with the team and familiarise themselves with PTI NZ’s work in those countries.

New Caledonia and French Polynesia – both French territories in the South Pacific region – are relatively recent members of the Pacific Islands Forum and are deepening their engagement in the region with these new postings.

“We are grateful to Joe Fuavao, Senior Advisor in the NZ Ministry of Foreign and Trade (MFAT) for organising the visit,” PTI NZ Chief Investment Officer Manuel Valdez said.

Mr Valdez welcomed the diplomats and made a brief presentation about the development role of PTI NZ in the Pacific Island countries, especially in trade and investment. He talked about the two flagship programmes on PTI NZ – the Path to Market Programme that focused on capacity building of Pacific exporters and would-be exporters to the New Zealand market and the Pacific Hub website which promotes investment-ready projects of the 16 Forum Island countries globally.

PTI NZ conducted the first Path to Market workshops in New Caledonia in 2016. A delegation of New Caledonia food and beverage companies also participated in the Auckland Food Show in 2017.

Describing the Pacific Hub, Mr valdez said the website has 180 investment-ready projects that are looking for business partners and funders for business expansion. The Pacific Hub has attracted foreign investors from different countries, such as USA, China, Middle East, India and other Southeast Asian nations.

New Caledonia is New Zealand’s closest neighbour geographically and trade between the two is growing. The New Caledonia stand at the 2017 Auckland Food Show represented more than 100 companies from there. The substantial stand was jointly promoted by its flag carrier airline Aircalin, New Caledonia Tourism and New Caledonia Trade & Invest, its investment promotion agency.

More and more New Zealanders are flying to New Caledonia, with several flights a week connecting Noumea with New Zealand.

Mr Valdez said PTI NZ had been working with New Caledonia’s investment promotion agencies for many years. “The presence on the ground of new diplomats in so many Pacific countries is bound to promote trade and investment between New Caledonia and the islands and between New Caledonia and New Zealand,” he added.

For more information email PTI NZ Chief Investment Officer Manuel Valdez at manuel.v@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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