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Trade Days off to a busy start

Thursday 28 July 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Trade Days off to a busy start
Visitor Ruta Faiga purchases crafts from Vaiana George at her Aka’ie’ie Beautiful Crafted stall at the BCI Trade Days yesterday. 22072722

The three-day Bank of the Cook Islands (BCI) Trade Days Expo kicked off yesterday with much fanfare allowing vendors to showcase locally made products and home grown produce.

The annual Trade Days have been hosted during Te Maeva Nui festival period with the purpose of encouraging trade between the islands.

A record number of 64 vendors are taking part in this year’s Trade Days Expo. Most of the vendors were pleased to see hundreds of visitors and locals walk through the Punanga Nui market.

Vaiana George set up her “Aka’ie’ie Beautiful Crafted” stall at 8am yesterday morning.

“People were already here ready and waiting for the stalls to open,” she said, pleased at the great number of customers.

George, who has participated in the BCI Trade Days for some years, said “this is one of the best, it’s nice here at the market place, people walk down one way and walk back on the other side and well set up”.

Another vendor Dora Evans, who makes her home-made soaps and charcoal from scratch, said: “I use whatever plants I have in my garden so each batch is slightly different – some may have plantain, dandelion or hibiscus, whatever there’s in my garden”.

Evans was delighted to see happy customers and noted some tourists look for specific ingredients in their soap which she can produce.

Minister of the Business Trade and Investment Board (BTIB) Patrick Arioka officially opened the function.

“It is Government’s priority to increase trade between the islands especially from the Pa Enua to Rarotonga in agricultural, creative crafts or marine based products to sustain our livelihoods and stimulate economic activities on our smaller but precious islands,” Arioka said.

He congratulated vendors such as Tarani Crafts, Nakura, and Mii Upu (Mrs Q) who have participated since the first trade days held 20 years ago.

Arioka was proud to see more vendors saying it’s “an encouraging sign that more and more of our people are starting up their own businesses”.

The BCI Trade Days continue today and tomorrow from 9am to 2pm.

Comments

Andrew Philp on 06/08/2022

Could I get a copy of participants?