PACER Plus and PTI New Zealand partnership to boost investment and economic growth in the Pacific

1 June 2023

Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand (PTI NZ) in collaboration with the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) is delighted to announce the launch of the Investment Readiness Programme aimed at stimulating economic growth and creating investment opportunities in the Pacific. The programme will develop a robust pipeline of up to 15 investable projects within the eight Pacific parties of PACER Plus, including Cook Islands, Niue, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The primary objective of the Investment Readiness Programme is to support selected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Pacific by assisting them in developing investment proposals. These proposals will be utilised by PTI NZ to facilitate connections between foreign investors and developers, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships and driving sustainable economic development.

The Investment Readiness Programme will adopt a sector-agnostic approach, focusing on key industries such as agriculture, renewable energy, manufacturing, fisheries, and tech/innovation. By taking this approach, the programme aims to leverage the diverse strengths and capabilities of Pacific SMEs, highlighting the region's potential to global investors.

Ms Glynis Miller (left), PTI NZ Trade Commissioner with Mr Alipate Tavo, PPIU Trade and Investment Adviser.

A core principle of the Investment Readiness Programme is its commitment to promoting and supporting women-owned or led businesses. Through active engagement and dedicated resources, the programme will empower women entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary tools and opportunities to thrive in their respective industries. Furthermore, the programme will actively promote these women-owned businesses to the impact investment community in New Zealand and abroad, recognising the significant contributions they make to the Pacific economy.

Ms Glynis Miller, PTI NZ Trade Commissioner, says: "Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand is committed to assisting Pacific parties of PACER Plus expand their investment opportunities and bring global attention to the many high-value projects in the Blue Pacific. The programme offers a vital practical step for SMEs seeking equity and growth, and wanting to assess their potential firstly for investment, then for business and export development."

Mr Roy Lagolago, Head of PPIU, expressed his enthusiasm for the programme, emphasizing its value in driving economic transformation and attracting foreign investments in the Pacific.

"The Investment Readiness Programme represents a tremendous opportunity for the Pacific. By nurturing and showcasing the potential of our SMEs, we are not only fostering economic growth but also promoting the values of inclusivity and diversity. Investing in businesses with a higher representation of women in leadership positions has proven to be a predictor of long-term value creation and improved financial performance. We are confident that the programme will serve as a catalyst for positive change, unlocking new avenues of development and prosperity for the Pacific," said Mr Lagolago.

So far, 12 projects have been undertaken across the Pacific. These businesses operate across a breadth of industries and have been chosen both due to the exciting scope of their work and potential for growth.

While the participation in the programme cannot provide an assurance for future investment, it will provide a solid foundation to understand where businesses can focus attention to attract committed financial partners.

The PACER Plus Implementation Unit and Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand are excited to embark on this collaborative journey to boost investment readiness and propel Pacific businesses onto the global stage. By capitalising on the region's strengths, the Investment Readiness Programme aims to create a thriving investment environment that fosters sustainable development, economic empowerment, and inclusive growth.