Creating opportunities for Pacific business
Creating awareness and growing the potential for Pacific businesses in New Zealand around the PACER Plus free trade agreement was a key driver for a business sector dialogue on Wednesday evening 11 October co-hosted by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ministry for Pacific Peoples Chief Executive Officer Laulu Mac Leauanae says the event creates an open forum dialogue for the Pacific business community in New Zealand, enabling them to better understand the benefits of free-trade deals, and in particular, targets businesses that want to venture out to do business in the Pacific region.
“New Zealand is home for many Pacific peoples. We have almost 296,000 Pacific people in New Zealand, with 65% living in Auckland. It is projected that by 2038, 10% of New Zealander will identify as being of Pacific origin, with the majority born here,” says Laulu.
“Our New Zealand Pacific community is growing and we are looking at harnessing our community’s future potential by looking at ways we can contribute to Aotearoa’s economic development. This is by utilising our people’s talents and expertise and being innovative across many sectors.”
Laulu says the connection of Pacific New Zealanders to their homelands is crucial and the Ministry is working in partnerships with other agencies and organisations through business activities, to provide pathways to current and aspiring Pacific business owners.
New Zealand's chief negotiator for PACER Plus, Tessa Te Mata says they're always looking at ways to improve productivity for Pacific businesses in New Zealand.
“The event is all about connecting with our Pacific business community in New Zealand and to answer any questions they may have about the PACER Plus agreement.”
“We have a good working relationship with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and we want to use their community links and networks to reach out to Pacific businesses, to learn more about trade and growing their business.”
“We are committed in our work to create opportunities for more meaningful engagements to transform Pacific economies together.”
PACER Plus has the potential to provide a new platform for New Zealand businesses looking to trade with Pacific Island countries.
Laulu says this is an initiative for government agencies to work together to create more opportunities for Pacific people.
The event was held at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Manukau office.