Plastic Ban in Vanuatu, VCCI AGM 30th April, Opportunity for Pacific Agro-SMEs to grow their Business: Innovation Grant Facility and Other News.

Plastic Ban in Vanuatu

What to do in Vanuatu: the case of Azure Pure Water outlines the need for businesses to work together to share knowledge, experience and business costs to deal efficiently and effectively with the plastic ban in the country.

Azure Pure Water has been Vanuatu’s premier bottled water supplier for 23 years.

The business is currently owned by Shaun Gilchrist and Yael Sakker, and employs 40-50 ni-Vanuatu staff depending on seasonal demand. More than 50% of these employees are women.

On the 1st August 2017, Azure established Vanuatu’s only plastic bottle buy-back and recycling scheme, “Give Me 5”, to help address the growing issue of plastic waste in Vanuatu. This program was established in recognition of Azure Pure Water’s responsibility as a manufacturer to be working to achieve viable and sustainable solutions for the management of waste produced, for the benefit of our country and our environment.

In February 2018, Azure Pure Water and World Vision Vanuatu launched a 3 year partnership to expand and re-invent the economics of plastic recycling in Vanuatu, with the goal of creating a circular economy where plastic waste is recovered as a practical resource to generate economic opportunities for individuals and communities through waste management, creation of new raw materials, and the transformation of these raw materials into new products, including handicrafts and common household items.

This partnership sees Azure’s existing “Give Me 5” scheme working with World Vision’s Waste Not Want Not program to reach urban and peri-urban communities, including those surrounding the current landfill site on Efate at Etas, and creating and highlighting opportunities for revenue generation from waste through public education, mentoring of targeted community groups, and investment in small scale transformative technologies and techniques, which will be both commercially sourced and local developed.

Azure Pure Water is interested in funding assistance for the development of recycling technologies suitable for the “Vanuatu context”, and product development. Azure Pure Water is also interested in partnerships with other organisations/businesses who are keen to work together to achieve a common goal of effective waste management and decreased plastic pollution in Pacific Island countries.

You can contact Yael Sakker to discuss their project further by email [email protected] or by phone tel 27461 or mob 5547403, website


VCCI AGM 2018 on 30 April 

The Annual General Meeting 2018 of the Port Vila Chamber of Commerce and Industry is scheduled to be held on Monday 30 April 2018 at 5pm in the Conference Room of the Chamber of Commerce. The Agenda includes Approval of Minutes of AGM 2017, Annual Report Year 2017, Financial Statements for the Year Ended 2017, Auditors Report, Election of Council Members and Major issues affecting Businesses: future of VCCI and update on Income Tax.

There are vacant sector representations on VCCI Council in 2018 for candidacy including Large Commerce, Building Construction, Land Transport, Air Transport, and Public Utilities.

The sector candidates to retire and eligible for re-election are Large Commerce, Mr Scott Young; Building Construction, Mr James Roy Matariki; Land Transport, Mr Donald Massing Satungia; Air Transport, Mr Jason Rakau; and Public Utilities, Vacant.

All business Licence Holders are invited to attend. Business Licence Holders are automatically members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Light refreshments will be served after the Meeting.

For more information on Council candidacy by industry sector or to confirm your attendance, you can contact VCCI Reception by email [email protected] or call tel 27543, mob 7123967.


Opportunity for Pacific Agro-SMEs to grow their Business: Innovation Grant Facility (IGF) Call for applications

The Innovation Grant Facility (IGF) provides funding to agro-based small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in seven Pacific Island States; Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu to access knowledge, technologies or expertise and build staff capacity to improve product quality, expand product offerings, enhance process efficiency, increase market share or competitiveness.

Maximum amount per grant award is Euro 17,000 (≈ USD 20,000). Which is roughly 2 Million Vatu.

Who can apply?

SMEs contributing, directly or indirectly, to the sustainable development of the agriculture & fishery sectors with a focus on the development and/or upgrading of nutritionally, culturally & environmentally sensitive local food crops & fisheries value chains in the seven target countries.

Priority will be given to SMEs who can demonstrate that the grant will be used to directly or indirectly benefit smallholder farmers, rural farming communities and disadvantaged groups, youth and women

Criteria for Eligible SMEs

  • Registered in and fully or majority owned by citizens of Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
  • Be a legal entity (e.g. sole proprietorship, or limited liability or public company with maximum 20% government share).
  • Employ a minimum of three full time equivalent staff members and/or has a minimum annual sales turnover of EUR 17,000 (USD ≈ 20,000). Approximately VT2,000,000
  • Can contribute at least 20% of the total project budget (cash and/or in-kind).

Examples of IGF funded activities

  • Facility design
  • Feasibility/market studies
  • Marketing plan or business plan development
  • Research and product development
  • Employee or business to business training
  • Laboratory testing & technical support
  • Small equipment purchase (< Euro 2,500 ≈ USD 2,940)

Note to Applicants

  1. All applicants are required to complete and submit the official IGF Application Form using the templates available for download within the stated deadline.
  2. The service provider(s) selected by the SMEs should have the necessary expertise and be registered in the IGF database
  3. All IGF funded activities are to be completed within 12 months.

The completed application, originals and copies, must be received in hard-copy at PIPSO, Level 1 Korobasaga House, 31 Gorrie Street, Suva, Fiji and an electronic copy of all documents (PDF, Word and Excel format) must be scanned and sent to the following email address – [email protected] on /or before the deadline 25 April 2018.

Contact VCCI on [email protected] to get an application form and or website link to your email address.

Private and Public Sectors Strengthen Collaborations for Increased Resilience

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (April 13, 2018) – Public and private sector stakeholders in Melanesian countries have been encouraged to strategically use their collective strength to develop practical resilience approaches, and take advantage of opportunities that the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November represents.Speaking to participants representing the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) National Designated Authority (NDA), the private sector, and the Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat, Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, Hon. John Pundari said he would be facilitating a dialogue during the APEC Summit around realistic economic and financial approaches to the Pacific region’s climate change-related issues.

“Human security is of utmost importance to our region, and especially our Pacific region. Developing guidelines and building resilience of economies and businesses to help deal with climate change and disasters are some of the ways to safeguard our security,” Mr Pundari said.

“The APEC is the perfect opportunity to address this particular challenge…our world is in fact getting smaller. I will take it upon myself to facilitate a dialogue that will help us address our sub-region and regional challenges. It is in opportunities such as the APEC meeting, where the values of dialogue and cooperation are appreciated to bring people, businesses and economies more closely together.”

Mr Pundari said he looked forward to the outcomes of the workshop, as they would form the supporting basis of the decisions that Pacific leaders make on this issue of accessing climate finance for private sector in the Pacific, and fostering public-private partnerships on climate change.

Mr Pundari and the USAID Health Advisor (Pacific Islands) Dr. Jorge Velasco officially opened the one-day workshop attended by 40 participants from Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and USAID’s Climate Ready Project through Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) convened the workshop in Port Moresby, in collaboration with the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Dr. Velasco said “a shared approach” by governments and the private sector was essential in addressing threats brought on by extreme weather and disasters in Pacific island communities. The Government of the United States had supported Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) to secure more than $1million Kina from the GCF to strengthen the agency’s role as the country’s NDA.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Deputy Secretary-General, Cristelle Pratt said climate change and resilient development was now a prominent agenda for Pacific Islands Forum Leaders, which was being mainstreamed through national development plans and strategies across the region.

Ms Pratt discussed the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP), endorsed by Forum Leaders in 2016, which outlined an integrated approach to addressing climate change and disaster risk management considerations for resilient and sustainable development.

“Central to this (FRDP) approach is the inclusion of all stakeholders that will need to make up the Pacific Resilience Partnership group, including the private sector (which) will play a key role in building the resilience of our (Forum) Members and communities,” Ms Pratt said.

“More importantly, the private sector represents a key engine for economic development and growth for Forum Members therefore the private sector needs to play a strengthened role in climate change and disaster risk management policy development and access to climate and disaster risk finance.”

Ms Pratt spoke of a critical gap in information sharing and coordination, both between public and private sectors and amongst the private sector themselves; she called on private sector actors to insert their positions in climate change and disaster risk management policy development, and consider ways of accessing climate and disaster risk finance.

Private sector participants from the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu shared examples of domestic public-private partnerships in low-carbon and resilient community-based development projects.   GCF NDA representatives updated participants with their respective national progress, reiterating their preparedness to support projects including those still in the pipelines and those around national policy development that would assist private sector investment in climate change actions.

Andreas Lunding, the representative of the GCF Private Sector Facility shared valuable information about the Facility particularly the new Simplified Approvals Process (SAP) that can be accessed for private sector small-scale projects.

Mr Lunding added that the GCF was actively working to strengthen the engagement between the NDAs, private sector and Accredited Entities (AEs) through regional dialogues targeting private sector engagement and country programming, to show private sector opportunities.

For more information, please email [email protected]