The National Fishing Corporation of Tuvalu (NAFICOT), owned by the Government of Tuvalu signed a Joint Venture (JV) agreement with Sajo Industries of Korea and O Yang Fishing Industry (also from Korea) on the 29th of July 2017 at the Funafuti Lagoon Hotel in Tuvalu. The Joint Venture agreement was signed by the Honourable Dr Puakena Boreham, Minister of Natural Resources and Mr Lee, Manager and major shareholder from Sajo, along with Mr Kim a legal representative for Sajo. The signing of the Joint Venture agreement was witnessed by the Honourable Prime Minister of Tuvalu and Ministers from each Ministry in conjunction with their permanent secretaries and senior administrative personnel from the Fisheries Department.
The principal objective of establishing this Joint Venture was to generate greater revenue for the people of Tuvalu than just from licensing of distant water fishing nations alone. The two parties agreed to call the JV company ‘Tusa Fishing Company Limited’, linking the name of Tuvalu and Sajo. The word also has a deeper meaning in both languages. In Tuvaluan ‘Tusa’ means ‘equal’ or ‘partnership’, while in Korean it refers to a warrior (of the sea). The fishing vessel to be operated in this JV is a purse seiner called Sajo Olympia, but is now being renamed to ‘FV Taina’. ‘Taina’ refers to ‘friend’ in Tuvaluan and the partners selected this name to mark their friendly partnership working together towards success.
Sajo Industries Co. Ltd. is a Korea based company that engages in production and distribution of food and livestock products. The company has four main business divisions, with the Deep-sea Fishing division involved in catching tuna, cod, pollack, squid and other marine species. The Food Business division specialises in processing seafood products such as canned tuna, saury and mackerel, and provides the company with a strategic advantage of vertical integration for seafood related products. In 2016, the government of Tuvalu was approached by Sajo Industries with a proposal to enter into a joint venture arrangement for one of its purse seine vessels, Sajo Olympia.