Cost of natural disasters, business resilience top talks and other important meetings for this week

Cost of natural disasters, business resilience top talks


Felix Chaudhary, Fiji Times

Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation’s Nesbitt Hazelman (right) speaks at the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) Workshop at the end of July 2017 in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

THE impact of two recent natural disasters on the Pacific and the cost to two economies was discussed earlier this week at the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation’s Regional Capacity Building Training Sessions in Nadi.

The discussion followed a presentation by Lisa Kingsberry, from the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project, on the subject. Ms Kingsberry said after Tropical Cyclone Winston in February, 2016, 20 per cent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was lost at an estimated value of $1.4 billion. She also said Cyclone Pam crippled Vanuatu’s economy with an estimated loss of VT$48.6 billion, representing 64 per cent of the country’s GDP.

During her presentation, Ms Kingsberry unveiled an interactive online toolkit designed to assist the private sector to be better prepared for natural disasters in the future. She said the Disaster Ready Business Toolkit was developed by SPC in partnership with private sector organisations, Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council and PIPSO.

She said the interactive toolkit was hosted on the PIPSO website ( and was an informative resource kit, outlining the impact of disaster on the private sector in the Pacific, whilst providing simple tools to support the region in strengthening its disaster preparedness into the future.

The meet also saw the launch of the the Pacific Business Resilience Network (PBRN), which will support national private sector organisations from across the Pacific to build resilience of businesses and communities.

The PBRN will provide coordination and provide a clear entry point for the private sector to access partners (such as Government) and resources, as well as serve as a platform to mobilise capacity building and other support.


Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is pleased to convene any interested businesses and MSMEs to an inception meeting on Friday 6 October 2017 to discuss the establishment of a Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee (VBRC) as a result of a joint initiative, known as the Pacific Business Resilience Network of the Pacific Community (SPC) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Connecting Business initiative CBi.

The overall purpose of this meeting is to look at prospective options to enable in-depth engagement of private sector, along with NGOs and Government stakeholders with regards to the impact of climate change, with a particular focus on natural disasters events. A specific agenda item will cover current critical threats, including the disaster situation on Ambae, Ambrym, Gaua, Vanua Lava, Lopevi and Tanna.

The meeting’s proposed draft agenda hereafter:

1.       Update on NDMO and FSAC actions in Ambae, Ambrym, Gaua, Vanua Lava, Lopevi   and Tanna

2.       How VBRC can participate

3.       Election of Executive Committee members: Chairman, Vice Chairman,  Secretary

4.       Draft VBRC Terms of Reference submitted for review

Meeting Date:  Friday 6 October 2017    

                 Time:  3pm     

                Venue:  VCCI Conference Room

Please confirm your attendance by calling VCCI Reception by phone on 27 543, mobile phone 712 3967 or by return email to [email protected]


The PENAMA Celebrations Organising Committee (PCOC) which successfully organized the Penama Day Celebration about a week ago, all along with the organisers of Reggae Fire, KivHan and Fes Napuan is organising a Humanitarian Music Show as a Fund Raiser towards all the victims of Ambae, Ambrym, Gaua, Motalava, Lopevi, and Tanna during these sudden volcano eruptions.

We are sending out our message to all the business houses in Port Vila and Vanuatu to come and support this call. We are pleased to receive anything big and small, in kind donations or cash to be collected starting from Monday 2 October 2017 till Friday 6 October 2017and on the day of the event which is Saturday 7 October 2017 at Saralana Park. The event will run for the full day.

The PENAMA Celebrations Organising Committee aims at packing three (3) containers with in kind donations to be handed over to the Hon. Ham Lini, Minister of Climate Change, on Saturday 7 October 2017 at Saralana Park. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of the Ministry of Climate Change will be in charge of disseminating these in kind donations to the victims of these sudden volcano eruptions. These containers are positioned at NDMO area, Ministry of Climate Change.

Our contact person is James Tabinok, the Vice-President of this event, and he is also Business Finance Trainer within the VCCI. You can reach him by email at [email protected] or call him by mobile phone on 532 5882 for further information. You can also contact VCCI Reception by email at [email protected] or call on 27543 and 712 3967.


PIPSO Survey to Agribusinesses to access finance and other assistance extended

The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) in Suva, Fiji, in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC), is carrying out a survey to ascertain the ease and difficulty which SMEs agribusinesses such as those producing or using coconuts products, access finance and other forms of assistance. This e- survey is for any SMEs agribusinesses to complete online as the deadline has been extended to Friday 6 October 2017.

PIPSO understands that most of the producers, farmers and SMEs are not fully aware of the other various forms of assistance that are available locally, regionally and internationally to assist them in their business or farming.

VCCI is a member of PIPSO and is the National Private Sector Organisation (NPSO) representing Vanuatu.

VCCI is requesting and encouraging any agribusinesses in Vanuatu to complete the PIPSO online survey, which should take less than 10 minutes to answer 9 questions, and to do it as soon as possible this week till Friday 6 October 2017.

The survey to access finance from commercial banks and other financial institutions and other forms of assistance will help PIPSO understand the constraints faced by SMEs and producers and publicize all funding facilities that are available including those from financial institutions. Furthermore it will provide the results of these studies to these organizations to improve accessibility of loans, grants and other assistance to SMEs in agribusiness.

Please click the link below to complete the survey questions and it will only take you less than 10 minutes.

If you have not done it yet, we would be really grateful if you could complete the survey by Friday 6 October 2017.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact by email Primal Narayan at [email protected] or Alisi Tuqa at [email protected] at the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) office in Suva, Fiji.

Port Vila gearing up for Pacific Week of Agriculture

Pacific Week of Agriculture (PWA) will be taking place in Port Vila exactly two weeks from today in three (3) different locations. Originally the first ever PWA was to take place in one location at the Vanuatu National Convention Centre. Due to circumstances beyond the PWA Taskforce Committee’s control, the one week event will now be staged in three different locations from 16 to 20 October 2017.

Only side events allocated to the training of farmers with the involvement of Chefs, will take place at the National Convention Centre from 16 to 18 October 2017. A key highlight – the Agritourism Festival, which will include Agritourism Trade Fair and Trade Show will be held at the Independence Park. Members of the public, visitors, business and trade enthusiasts are most welcome to the festival.

So far 27 local businesses producing and selling various products including fibreglass, timber, non-food items; food and beverages, cosmetics, jewellery, arts and crafts, clothing, agriculture supplies, manufacturers, processors, tourism service providers, and productive sector businesses, have confirmed their participation.

Up to 20 stalls are allocated to food stalls, which will mostly feature local agriculture produce. Business booths and food stalls will promote, showcase, and sell Made-in-Vanuatu goods and dishes. There will also be booths for public and private institutions and regional organisations to display information and awareness documents to the general public. A Trade Show will be held on 18 October 2017 at Independence Park, while the meetings of Heads of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry will be held from 19 to 20 October 2017 at the Iririki Island Resort.

The one-week event will create synergies between agriculture and tourism sectors, and improve supply linkages in value chains of agricultural products between the farmers from the productive sector on the one hand, and the Chefs and Tourism operators on the other hand. The main objectives of these synergies are to work together on how to provide a consistent quality and quantity supply of organic agricultural products by farmers to chefs and tourism operators, including meals cooked from local vegetables and fruits in bungalows, bars, takeaways, restaurants, and hotels.

How to market and promote the use and consumption of high value local agricultural products to tourists, visitors, and local consumers is of significant value to the economic development of Vanuatu.

If you wish to have booth to promote, showcase, and sell Made-in-Vanuatu goods and dishes, please contact now Ian Bani at Department of Industry by email at [email protected] or by phone on 33415.