11 Nov 2015

MSG looking to promote Melanesian products to region

8:37 am on 11 November 2015
Roadside market in rural Papua New Guinea.

Roadside market in rural Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Promoting new products from Melanesia has been a focus of a high-level trade meeting in Noumea.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group is finalising its trade agreement this week, before its Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair at the end of the month.

The programme manager of trade and investment for the MSG Secretariat, John Licht, says the MSG has interviewed 300 people from Mt Hagen in PNG to Tanna in Vanuatu in an effort to promote small businesses.

He says products such as coffee, vanilla, as well as timber and building products need more support.

"Identifying those products and also looking at how we can progress them forward by way of improving the supply-side chain, by way of finding markets including branding, looking at how we can improve their access to other markets not just in MSG countries but outside the MSG countries."

John Licht says three to four products from each MSG country that have good prospects and strong links to communities will be promoted to the trade ministers at a meeting next week.