Samoa Association Looks To Boost Exports To New Zealand

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S.A.M.E. establishes Auckland exhibition center, hopes for increased trade

By Sophie Budvietas

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 22, 2014) – New Zealanders will soon be able to buy hundred per cent Samoa made products in their country all the time.

In the wake of last year’s successful Buy Samoa Made trade show, the Samoa Association of Manufacturers & Exporters (S.A.M.E.) with the support of the government, are establishing an exhibition centre within the Samoa House in Auckland.

S.A.M.E. President, Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, told the Samoa Observer his organisation is setting up a permanent trade presence in New Zealand to meet the growing demand.

"Based on the outcome of last year’s trade promotion the most common, the most compelling feedback from the market was that they want a permanent presence of Samoa products there. They want to know what is available, " he said.

"So what we are doing here is we are setting up an exhibition centre at the Samoan Fale in Auckland.

"Where we are going to have glass cabinets to display all the different varieties and samples of products and brochures."

This means, starting next month, more than 50 local businesses will have their presence felt in New Zealand.

Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Trade, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo, who led last year’s delegation to N.Z., said this exhibition project is an important initiative by the Samoan Private Sector in partnership with the government aimed at increasing exports to the N.Z. market.

"I was proud to lead the S.A.M.E.-New Zealand Buy Samoa Made Trade Show in November last year, the campaign has been a resounding success," he said.

"Already we have had increased exports in our various products such as Valima Pure, Taula and Sama, our Savai’i coconut cream, our own koko Samoa, nonu juice, honey and coffee, coconut base body care products, Samoan jandals, snack products, fresh taro, garments and other new products being developed - such as avocado oil and gluten free breadfruit.

"The Samoan government wants our private sector to become competitive and increase both import substitutes, and exports of its Samoa Made goods and services.

"This exhibition centre is the permanent connection between New Zealand and Samoan Made Goods and Services, the local contact is either through our Trade Commission Office in New Zealand at the Samoa House or directly with the Exporters from Samoa via the S.A.M.E. office in Apia."

The Deputy Prime Minister said the establishment of this exhibition centre was one of the key outcomes of the S.A.M.E.-New Zealand Buy Samoa Made Trade Show that took place at the Mangere Art Gallery in November 2013.

"The Samoan and New Zealand community responded well and called for the need to establish a permanent presence of Samoa Made Goods and Services in New Zealand- supported by publicity, samples, contact information and a permanent point of contact," Fonotoe said.

"This exhibition centre is a direct response to what the New Zealand market has asked for, furthermore it also shows how important the New Zealand market is the private sector and government of Samoa." Fonotoe said the Buy Samoa Made New Zealand Campaign had one objective - to increase the export and presence of Samoan Made Goods and Services in the New Zealand Market.

"The Exhibition Centre here at our Samoa House in Auckland City will enable New Zealand consumers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to visit and see first hand samples, information on Samoa Made Goods and Services and contact details of producers and exporters in Samoa," he said. "Furthermore, it should also serve a spring-board for New Zealand importers to witness what Samoa is capable of producing, and look at the lucrative aspect of an investment in Samoa.

"Either to increase capacity of our producers and exporters, or to amend or rearrange product presentation or increase new products to suit exiting or potential markets in New Zealand and abroad."

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has also thrown his weight behind the initiative, saying it meets the top three outcomes and strategies of the Strategy for Development of Samoa (S.D.S.) 2012- 2016 - macro-economic stability, re-invigorate agriculture and revitalised exports. "The Buy Samoa Made Goods and Services-New Zealand campaign is an important initiative by the Samoan Private Sector in partnership with the government - aimed at increasing exports to the New Zealand market," Tuilaepa said. "This is what our government wants, for our private sector to become competitive and increase both import substitute and exports of its Samoa Made goods and services.

"The New Zealand export drive project will likewise be adopted for various other export outlets for Samoa taking into account the export (and/or) competitiveness development for our Manufacturers and Exporters and Service providers."

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