PTI China’s drive to promote desired Chinese investment opportunities in the Pacific Islands is gaining momentum, as it recently delivered its second China–-Pacific Islands Investment Promotional event in Beijing in May.

The events are an initiative by PTI China in collaboration with the Pacific Missions in Beijing, and the inaugural collaboration – with the PNG Embassy – occurred in Shenzhen last year. This year, in partnership with the Embassy of Fiji, the event launched the Fiji–China Virtual Trade Expo 2021.

The China–Pacific Islands investment promotion event aimed to deepen Chinese investors’ understanding of the investment environment and the ease of doing business in the Pacific Islands. It was also an opportunity to gauge new opportunities that have emerged in the wake of COVID-19, as Pacific countries develop diversification strategies in high-growth industries.

China’s strong interest in renewable energy investment, investments in green energy, ITC and ecommerce, agri-technology and tourism were at the forefront of the event’s agenda.

In his welcome speech, Mona Mato, Trade Commissioner of PTI China, acknowledged the presence of China’s private sector, including both existing and potential Chinese investors, buyers, distributors and wholesalers from a spectrum of China’s growth industries. He said:

“You are here because of your genuine interest in investing in Fiji and our Pacific Island countries – or the opportunity to buy or distribute Pacific Islands products in China. So, we are here to help facilitate these connections for you and we look forward to fostering greater and long-term business relationships with you all.”

Mona highlighted the challenges that the Pacific region faces, with the impact of COVID-19 bringing significant strains on Pacific businesses and industries.

“However, the collective efforts of our Pacific region’s leaders are at the forefront of prioritising our Pacific’s economic recovery and sustainability, while we continue to explore innovative solutions to address some of these challenges that confront us.”

Mona said, “The region remains optimistic in our efforts as we too look to harness the opportunities that have emerged from COVID-19.”

The event’s keynote speaker, His Excellency Manasa Tagicakibau, Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji, underscored Fiji’s long-standing relationship with China in his address:

“China, like many other countries, has been our friend and bilateral partner for many years and many of our Pacific Island countries have partnered with them to provide sources of revenue through trade and investment opportunities.

“We have challenges due to our geographical location, the supply side capacity challenge, the distance, the technological gap, etc. Despite this, we are optimistic that in solidarity and unity, with more engagements and cooperation and with further exchanges for a win-win outcome and mutual benefits, we are confident that together we can overcome these challenges and build a better and a more prosperous future for both our countries,” he said.

The PTI China event was very fortunate to have case studies presented of two successful Chinese investment projects established in Fiji. Dr Lin Dongmei, Vice Director of International Cooperation & Exchange Office of the Fijian Agriculture and Forestry University and Vice Director of National Juncao Research Center, shared her extensive experience assisting Fijian women’s organisations in establishing the Fiji Mushroom Growing Association in Fiji, providing technical support to Fijian communities and investing in machinery to help build the capacity of growers and farmers, and to make growing more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

A highlight of the event was Investment Fiji’s Mr Craig Strong’s announcement of the official launch of the Fiji–China Virtual Trade Expo, a platform for Chinese consumers and businesses to learn more about Fiji and engage virtually with key and emerging markets.

PTI China provided potential investors and buyers in attendance with a suite of service offerings, from helping to connect buyers to suppliers and investors, to potential opportunities and relevant government contacts.