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United in Thought Leadership on Trade in French Pacific

For Immediate Release
18 March 2015

United in Thought Leadership on Trade in French Pacific Territories: United in Support for Vanuatu

Five eminent speakers representing the French and New Zealand Governments, the world's largest exporter of dairy products and an international shipping line will unite together in a historic gathering today to share their thought leadership about business potential in the French Pacific Territories.

The public presentation featuring New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, His Excellency Mr Shane Jones will explore in depth; the current commercial situation, the future outlook and perspectives on topics ranging from: the Trans-Pacific partnership, shipping, exporting, construction, mining, tourism and local market knowledge.

The historic occasion is the first time the French New Zealand Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNZCCI) and the New Zealand Pacific Business Council (NZPBC) have united together to empower and educate on trade opportunities in the French Pacific Territories.

“Our intention is to facilitate an informed discussion involving high calibre speakers that promotes and facilitates successful two way trade between New Zealand and the French Pacific Territories. Our exports to the Pacific now are worth more than NZ$1 billion a year so the time is right especially given the overall strengthening of political stability in the region” says NZPBC Chairman, Mr Graeme Roberts.

The weekend’s tragic devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in the Republic of Vanuatu (formerly a part of France until 1980) has not escaped the attention of the organisers who have pledged support for assisting the now extremely fragile small island nation.

Business continuity is critical during a crisis believes FNZCCI President, Ms Nadine Plet prompting her to immediately facilitate a collection on the night to support business owners with the clean-up.

“People in Vanuatu have lost everything as an outcome of one of the worst natural disasters ever experienced by the island. Both of our organisations stand together united in supporting our brothers and cousins in the South Pacific. We will be asking all guests attending our event to donate generously towards the Red Cross.”

Confirmed speakers include:
His Excellency Mr Shane JonesNew Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade: New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development
Dr Yves La FoyEmbassy of France: Official Representative of the New Caledonia to New Zealand
Mr Michael Greenslade - Pacific Islands Trade & Invest: Trade Commissioner
Mr Francois Cotier – French Government Agency: Business France (formed after Ubifrance and the Invest in France Agency merged on January 1) Director New Zealand and Australia
Mr Sam Allnutt -- Fonterra General Manager Pacific
Mr Benoit Marcenac - Sofrana Unilines Managing Director

The inaugural event sponsored by Air Tahiti Nui will be held at 6pm at BECA, one of the largest employee-owned professional services consultancies in the Asia Pacific region, located at 21 Pitt Street, Auckland.


French New Zealand Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FNZCCI)
The French New Zealand Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an incorporated society which is affiliated with the Union of French International Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UCCIFE). The primary purpose of the FNZCCI is to promote the voluntary association of business people and business organisations between New Zealand, France and the French Pacific Territories. It also promotes and extends opportunities for mutually prosperous, amicable economic, social and commercial relationships between individuals, firms and companies, corporations, institutions and associations between New Zealand, France and the French Pacific Territories.
Website: LinkedIn: here

FNZCCI President, Ms Nadine Plet
President, Ms Nadine Plet has been awarded the highest honour by the French government, ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ for originally setting up the Petit Lascar playgroup for children and Frenz School Inc which implemented the first French-English Bilingual Unit at Richmond Road Primary school in Ponsonby.

New Zealand Pacific Business Council (NZPBC)
The New Zealand Pacific Business Council’s objective is to promote and facilitate two way trade between NZ and the 26 Pacific Island nations of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Formed in March 2005, the NZPBC has developed associations with businesses in NZ and the Pacific Islands, as well as engaging with Government and NGO’s to improve trade and economic outcomes in the region.

NZPBC Chairman, Mr Graeme Roberts
Chairman, Mr Graeme Roberts has worked in private practice and Government service in Hong Kong as well as in New Zealand, China, Fiji, India, Vanuatu, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Maldives, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Samoa and Sri Lanka.
He is experienced working with international funding agencies such as The World Bank and Asian Development Bank, as well as certain government agencies throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

His Excellency Mr Shane Jones
New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development who was a Cabinet Minister and former New Zealand politician for the Labour party. He is also High Commissioner to several small island developing states in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. His mandate is to achieve economic improvements through more trade and investment in the Pacific.

Dr Yves La Foy
The Official Representative of the New Caledonia to New Zealand as part of New Caledonia’s first overseas diplomatic representation within the French Embassy in Wellington.
The role of New Caledonia’s Official representative is two-fold:
*Bilateral, to reinforce the political dialogue between New Caledonia and New Zealand, and to grow
Co-operation in the fields of culture and education, science and innovation, and economy and trade;
*Multilateral, to oversee New Caledonia’s role and activities with the Pacific Islands Forum and its
member countries.

Mr Michael Greenslade
The Trade Commissioner for Pacific Islands Trade & Invest.
An arm of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat based in Fiji which is the lead export facilitation, investment and tourism promotion agency in the Pacific region. It is the only Pacific Islands agency tasked by leaders to develop, grow and promote industry and business in all 14 Pacific Island Countries in export, investment, tourism and creative arts promotion across international markets.

Mr Francois Cotier
Representing Business France, the French Agency for international business development, lies at the heart of France’s public-sector export support framework with 80 Trade Commissions in 60 countries. Part of the French diplomatic mission in Australia, is dedicated to the promotion of the French companies and especially the SMEs on the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Mr Sam Allnutt
Is a member of the Fonterra Brands senior leadership team and the Fonterra Export business unit. He is responsible for leading senior key account managers and global documentation experts in the Pacific region working with NGO's, local government authorities across the Pacific.

Mr Benoit Marcenac
The Managing Director of Sofrana Unilines whom oversees more than 400 staff in the international shipping group that is well established in six countries within the South Pacific region, being New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, Wallis & Futuna, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa. Also involved in land-based logistics (agency, stevedoring, freight forwarding), trading and distribution, fisheries (fishing and plant processing).

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