Businesses bask in Fiji and Samoa’s Rugby World Cup journey
Connections formed on the sidelines of the tournament boosted the opportunities for trade with British buyers.
For Samoa and Fiji at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, tales of triumph have not been limited to the field. Beyond the try lines and scrums, great successes have been seen for the two Pacific nations – echoes of victory resonated in the realm of commerce.
Companies from Samoa and Fiji met with potential buyers from the United Kingdom and Europe. These two nations, celebrated for their rugby prowess, stood tall as makers of high-quality, unique products.
John Kama, a second-generation Fijian born in the United Kingdom, has dedicated a decade of his life to exporting Fijian products to the United Kingdom.
With a gleam of pride in his eyes, Kama said the event was a great opportunity to network with other Fijian businesses and potential buyers in the United Kingdom and Europe.
For him, it was more than just business; it was about keeping the Fijian spirit alive on British soil.
Roxsanne Slatford, a representative of British company Beauty Bulb, was elated about her newfound Fijian connections. She was extremely impressed by the companies she learned about, saying that they are ‘truly making waves within our industry.’
Matthew Sodden, representing Zapp Rapid Grocery Delivery in the United Kingdom, was equally animated. ‘Our customers are going to absolutely love what we’ve seen here.’ But it wasn’t just the products that captivated him, it was the chance to learn about Fijian culture.
Passion for sustainability
The driving force behind Nama Fiji’s sustainable beauty products, managing director Debra Sadranu, found herself a British buyer who shared her passion for sustainability.
‘As a businesswoman and entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in Fiji, it’s so great to come to an event such as this. It gives us so much exposure and access to business opportunities,’ Sadranu remarked.
She looks forward to more trade shows of such high calibre, which are bound to cultivate the same message of success and collaboration.
The events, supported by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme and UK Aid, allowed small and medium-sized enterprises from Fiji and Samoa to showcase their products and develop export opportunities in the United Kingdom and Europe.
For representatives from Fiji and Samoa, the journey was about broadening the horizons of their businesses, and being supported in their business growth.
Nella Tavita Levy, Permanent Representative of Samoa to the United Nations Office at Geneva, knows the challenges of penetrating the British market. She acknowledged the vital role played by international partners, stressing their support as key ingredients for success for small businesses in developing island nations.
While the Samoan team played their final match of the World Cup on 7 October, narrowly missing out on a quarter-final spot, Fiji is gearing up for a fierce face-off with England on 15 October.
At the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Samoa and Fiji have been not only champions on the field, but also ambassadors of their nations’ commitment to outstanding goods.
About the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships Programme
The United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme, funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, aims to increase trade from developing countries to the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) by maximizing the benefits of UK and EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the UK's Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS). The UKTP Programme works in partnership with government agencies, private sector organisations, public sector institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises and other local stakeholders.