New Private Sector Investment findings by New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research (NZIPR) provides valuable data for investment into the Pacific and Other News

New Private Sector Investment findings by New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research (NZIPR) provides valuable data for investment into the Pacific

News 6 Dec 2017 A launch was staged at Auckland’s Fale Pasifika on Tuesday, where the final report on Private Sector Investment in the Pacific was presented by Professor Simon Milne AUT Associate Head of School, Research and Development and Director, NZ Tourism Research Institute on behalf of his team Carolyn Deuchar, Tracy Berno, Semisi Taumoepeau, Michael Pusinelli and Jaimee Raymond.

Professor Milne says there has been a lack of understanding about investing in the Pacific and this report aims to inform investors and explores the drivers of and barriers to private sector investment – foreign and local.

The report looks at the benefits and costs of a range of private sector investments, including large foreign investment through to small scale local and foreign investment. It examines the costs and risks of foreign investment to the receiving country, how this can be managed, and how the impact of investment can be enhanced.

The four focus areas are tourism, agriculture, renewable energy and telecommunications. The case studies are located in Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue.

The project has also surveyed 33 experts who worked in-country facilitating or managing investment opportunities.

Recommendations from investors and experts include the provision of practical advice from investors to other investors like, doing your homework before investing and not to being rash.

The recommendations also stress being clear on land issues and getting the right advice from local businesses and the community as vital. Starting small, learning more about local conditions and the people and creating local networks and relationships are also encouraged, as is building in a sense of place into the products and experiences.

The report also highlights points about ensuring the right environment for investment – from strong due diligence in vetting foreign direct investment to the creation of government policies, targeting key development goals including the local investor and simplifying the investment process.

Other issues brought up in the report include understanding mixing different cultures, and experiencing local jealousies and suspicions, along with the challenges of women being able to own land, and having limited access to finances.

Visit the NZIPR website on http://www.nzipr.ac.nz/research/private-sector-investment-in-the-pacific/ to view the Private Sector Investment in the Pacific Report.

 

VIPA Clarifies Application And Registration Processes

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has been advised by the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) Board and VIPA Management, that the VIPA Board of Directors, in its decision on the 31st of October 2017, is encouraging new and existing foreign investors to submit applications with a clear focus in their business endeavors.

This call comes after the Board’s analysis on a wide variety of existing foreign investments, that continue to incorporate numerous business activities under a singly business name or limited company, that more often have no interconnecting relationship and are most likely to be left unimplemented.

Further to its analysis, the Board has called on the Management, to ensure direction is properly given to foreign investors applying for Foreign Investor Approval Certificate (FIAC). The decision now means that a foreign investor, should submit separate VIPA applications for any activities that are not related.

 

Surviving an emergency – business resilience!

A series of short practical articles on keeping our businesses going during and following a disaster – part four.

We are used to keeping our car or vehicle engines tuned, we top up the oil, we try not to run out of petrol, we keep them clean, we have our cars serviced – if we don’t the vehicle breaks down, we use more fuel, it is inefficient, it will often let us down, it will not last as long, it will be a waste of money.

We need to apply the same thinking to our business. If we don’t tune up our business regularly we will lose money, we will lose staff, we will lose customers and market position, we will encourage our competitors to overtake us – we may even go out of business.  This will be especially true following an emergency or disaster.

During this short series of articles Chris Elphick takes us through a service check for our business.

Today the focus is on creating a business resilience action plan.

While the next cyclone season is nearly here, business owners have to be thinking ahead and asking ourselves one question – what can I do to be better prepared next time? Because we live in The Pacific we know that extreme weather-related events, and other crises, are part of our business environment. Yet often, our planning does not take these into consideration.  Also, business disasters are not limited to well-publicised cyclones or tsunamis or earthquakes.  Fire destroys many businesses, health issues close many others, localised events can impact negatively on local businesses.

All business owners should be aiming to have resilient organisations. Resilience is not just about getting through crises – truly resilient organisations do what they can to prevent potential crises emerging. They have the ability to turn crises into a source of strategic opportunity.

What is a business resilience action plan  

In my last article in this series I looked at your business recovery plan which records what you will do after a disaster to continue to run your business.  The business resilience action plan records what you will do BEFORE there is a disaster, preferably as soon as possible, to make sure your business is more resilient, prevents disasters where possible, and is as prepared as possible to deal with a disaster if it happens.  Think about these areas and make notes:

Your priority products and/ or services

Make a list of your products and / or services. Which of these are priorities to maintain existing contracts and customer relationships, including within your local community, and also provide to new customers?  Keep the list focused on essentials.

What products and/or services could you stop providing, even for a short time?

Priority tasks and key people

List the tasks that will be essential if you are to deliver the priority products and/ or services and identify the people capable of taking responsibility for these tasks.

Priority equipment

List the equipment that is essential to delivering your key products and/or services and the options available if this equipment is unavailable.

List the actions that you will take in the next 3 months to make your business more self-reliant in equipment in the event of a disaster

Priority stock and resources and key suppliers

Make a list of the stock and resources that are essential to delivering your priority products and/ or services, suppliers, alternative supply options and alternative resources.

List the actions that you will take in the next 3 months, to make your business more self-reliant in priority stock and resources in the event of a disaster

Priority customers

Make a list of your priority customers. List the actions that you will take in the next 3 months, to find out more about what government departments or NGOs might buy from you in the event of a disaster, and to make connections with those organisations.

Priority property

In a disaster the property or properties you operate your business from may be destroyed, unsafe or inaccessible.

List all the possible options where you could relocate your business.  Note any advantages and disadvantages associated with each option.

List the actions that you will take in the next 3 months, to make your property less vulnerable to destruction or damage in the event of a disaster

Delegation of authority

List your essential business processes, who has authority for them now, and one or two people who you trust to have authority to run the business in your absence.

List the actions you will take in the next 3 months, to train and prepare someone to be able to take over from you in the event of a disaster.  You should seek advice from a lawyer about how to give someone legal powers to act for you

Priority business records and systems

List your methods for backing up your business records and vital information.

List the actions you will take in the next 3 months, to put your business records and key information in good order, protect them from destruction or damage in the event of a disaster, and be available remotely

Critical communications channels

List your usual communications channels, potential problems and alternatives. List the actions you will take in the next 3 months, to have the best chance of having working communication channels in the event of a disaster

Information, advice and assistance

List the organisations that will be most useful to you in the event of a disaster – e.g. NDMO, Chambers of Commerce, NGOs, industry and sector groups.

List the actions you will take in the next 3 months, to check on local disaster preparation and response plans, and find out more about which organisations can help you in the event of a disaster.  For information about insurance options, contact your industry organisation or local chamber of commerce.

Collaboration

List the businesses around you that you could help, and that could help you, in the event of a disaster.

List the actions you will take in the next 3 months, to work with other businesses around you, to make plans to help each other in the event of a disaster

Immediate response – disaster response checklist

Can you say Yes to each of the statements below?  If not, decide what actions you need to take to be able to say Yes to every statement.

  • Our staff know where to evacuate to if there is a fire in the property
  • Our staff know the procedure when they feel an earthquake
  • Our staff know where to evacuate to when there is a tsunami warning or after feeling a long or strong earthquake
  • Our staff all have get-away kits at work in case they must evacuate in a hurry or cannot get home
  • Our business has stored supplies of fresh water and food
  • Our business has adequate first aid supplies
  • Emergency instructions for staff are prominently displayed Emergency instructions for guests are prominently displayed
  • We have at least one staff who is competent at first aid
  • Our staff have emergency plans for their own families

Contact details

Keep all the contact details of critical people in more than one accessible location.  Keep the information up to date.  You need contact information for:

  • Employees and their families
  • Emergency services
  • Other local businesses you will work with
  • Bank
  • Insurance company
  • Priority customers
  • Key suppliers
  • Owners of alternative properties
  • Utility services

In the final article in this series I will summarise the approach outlined in this series and stress the importance to all businesses, but especially to SMEs, of being well prepared BEFORE an emergency strikes.

Breadfruit Consulting have produced Be Prepared – a step-by-step disaster resilience planning guide for Pacific Island businesses – please contact Chris Elphick if you would like a copy and details of the workshops they run around the guide.

Chris Elphick is Partner in Breadfruit Consulting, formerly Learnfast Pacific, supporting the development of a range of businesses and organisations in Melanesia and other parts of the Pacific.  He is an experienced trainer, coach and business mentor and has years of experience of working with Small & Medium Enterprises.  He and his partner Hazel Kirkham live in Vanuatu.

If you have an issue or query related to this article, please contact Chris at [email protected] or text to +6785500