3 Mar 2008

Pacific businesses told to brush up on communication skills

4:43 pm on 3 March 2008

The Pacific Islands Trade Commission says Pacific Islanders need to improve their communication skills if they want to encourage overseas investment.

Last November, the organisation led ten New Zealand-based Pacific Island businesspeople to Samoa and Tonga to find investment opportunities in their homelands.

Its trade commissioner, Chris Cocker, says a few deals are in the pipeline, but it's still waiting for real outcomes.

Mr Cocker says this is due to a very slow response from Tonga and Samoa.

"The response has been very slow coming from the Islands. These are the things that we need to improve. That's just dealing with other Pacific Islanders. Just imagine if they're dealing with investors from overseas. It's very important that communication is regular and also that a response is there within 24 hours."

Chris Cocker says export arrangements between Pukapuka and Samoa and a pre-insurance plan for Tongan seasonal workers are planned.

Mr Cocker says bio-fuel and waste management projects in Samoa are also possibilities.