Its has been a busy week for VCCI, including our President who recorded a live panel discussion with the Commissioner of Labor and our Union leaders on the issue of severance and minimum wage for VBTC/ Press Klab. Tune in to the broadcast on Monday to hear what was discussed. The VCCI stimulus package team are travelling to Santo this weekend to assist businesses from our Luganville VCCI office, situated at the Asia Motel, from next Monday to Friday. We are also planning our Safe Business Operations team to travel to Tanna as early as next week to resume workshops there, so watch this space for secured dates.
We also have a good news story via the Business Link Pacific program, and anyone interested in the latest updates in regards to the New Caledonia Trade Agreement please read below:
New Caledonia Trade Agreement update
As you may be aware representatives from the Department of External Trade (DOET) conducted a consultation at VCCI on the progress of the agreement between Vanuatu-New Caledonia on the 26 April 2022.
Te purpose of the meeting was to inform our manufacturers about the request from New Caledonia to remove ice cream and viande de pork from the Vanuatu product list for export.
It was a small group who attended the meeting and DOET was grateful for the participation of Switi, Yumi Trader and Fine Foods who joined the group virtually.
Director of External Trade weas able to present the case from his New Caledonia (NC) counterparts and took on board the feedback from those present. It is the opinion of those present that these 2 products should not be removed, rather both of products have been exported to NC with no biosecurity issues and any other forms of restriction in the past.
It was agreed by those present to move forward the following actions are to be taken:
- DOET to request NC explanation for the removal of the two products
- Switi and Fine Foods to provide written comment
- Potato Snacks and Pineapple were suggested to take the place of the 2 products requested for removal from the list
Update since the meeting
DOET and Biosecurity hosted a virtual meeting with NC Regional Cooperation Department on the issues raised.
- NC have requested their Biosecurity Team to provide the technical explanation for the removal of Ice-Cream and Viande De Pork
- NC had asked Vanuatu to include Green Coffee Beans and Cocoa Powder to their list to export
Once DOET has received comments from the NC Biosecurity Team, they will let us know for distribution to our membership.
DOET is looking forward to receiving the technical sheets from businesses.
A request from DOET
Please see attached below a ‘product technical sheet’ that DOET has asked VCCI to distribute to all members who export or plan to export to NC to please fill in, to help DOET with their negotiations.
For any queries please contact Losalinda at DOET at firstname.lastname@example.org
BLP’s Big Impact on the Espiritu Hotel in Santo
Late last year Business Link Pacific, a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and implemented through VCCI, launched its Adaptation Grant initiative, in response to COVID’s devastating effects on tourism businesses in Vanuatu.
The grant initiative was designed to enable access to capital for SMEs facing distress during the COVID pandemic. Grants were made available to SMEs from all sectors with staff of up to 50 employees, via an application process. For the Espiritu Hotel in Santo, owner/operator Mr Simon Leung applied for a grant to purchase and install a solar solution for his business. With hotel occupancy low, the cost of electricity remained very high for his boutique hotel in the main street of Luganville.
Simon shared “The grant was very helpful in boosting our solar panel output by 15% from 50kw to 58kw which in turn offsets our dependence on the grid in times of rain and overcast weather when panel power generation is not at its optimal level. It also allows us to add additional electrical loads in times of good weather and there is an excess of power generated. Overall, it makes us more green, sustainable, and flexible as a business. Thank you very much Business Link Pacific and Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry for this great support”
If you are interested in more information about BLP please contact Yvonne Taiki at email@example.com
Business Link Pacific (BLP) is a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Our core team is based in Auckland and supported by in-country partners in Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Kiribati & Papua New Guinea. Its primary aim is to connect small and medium sized businesses in the Pacific to local advisory services. The BLP quality approved network of advisors offers accessible services for business growth.
VCCI wishes you all a great weekend,
The VCCI team