By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Koror - Five Guam-based companies traveled to Palau to showcase their locally-made products to distributors, wholesalers and retailers as part of the first-ever Palau Trade Mission organized by the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) and in partnership with the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA).
WUSATA is a non-profit state regional trade group that promotes the export of U.S. food and agricultural products throughout the world from the western region of the country, including Guam.
“I am excited to see that our local companies have the opportunity to share their culturally-inspired products with our neighbors in the region,” said Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero. “This inaugural trade mission will forge stronger business ties between Guam and Palau and support the growth of our regional economy.”
The trade mission provides opportunities for Guam-based businesses to secure potential retail and wholesale distribution agreements to increase their export activities in Palau.
The participating companies include Denanche’ Guam, Everything Guam LLC, Imari, Natural Being, and The Coconut Tree Company.
GEDA is providing additional support for the participating companies through the Guam State Trade Expansion Program, which is partly funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
On top of site visits and one-on-one matchmaking meetings with local Palauan businesses, the Guam delegation has been meeting with various government entities, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and the Environment; Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism, and Development; Ministry of Finance; Palau Visitors Authority; and members of the Senate and House of Delegates.
“The Palau Trade Mission is yet another opportunity that GEDA has created to encourage our local companies to expand into international markets,” said Melanie Mendiola, CEO/administrator for GEDA. “We hope to continue developing other export opportunities throughout Micronesia and the larger Asia-Pacific region.”
Along with partnering with WUSUTA to co-host the trade mission, GEDA also collaborated with the Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network (PISBDCN), the Guam Unique Merchandise & Art (GUMA), and Concierge Palau.
“Palau SBDC warmly welcomes GEDA and WUSATA during its first trade mission to Palau,” said Ltelatk Fritz, director for Palau SBDC. “The knowledge and experience being exchanged between Guam’s and our local businesses are critical to Palau’s recovery efforts.”