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The Cry of an SME in Vanuatu, Be in the Investment Directory for Free, Pasifika Trade Mission to Auckland NZ and Other News.

The Cry of an SME in Vanuatu

From Rina George of Rina’s Island Spa – Meeting weekly wages for five staff is already a struggle. Monthly rental of Vt86,000 is quite huge. VNPF payments, business license and other expenses are very draining. There is no promised customer base. We Beauty parlors are forever competing with each other and our larger competitors, which are the Hotels. In actual fact, “breaking even” becomes our objective rather than profit making.

Then the Government decides to reward the employees with a sudden, less consultation increase. Good for my employees, good on the Government for looking after the employees. However, I as an employer becomes a victim. This time, I have to make a decision. One, keep all the employees and dive together. Two, put some of my employees on the streets and keep only a few. Three, kill the business and find something different. This is a business I started in the year 2000. I cannot accept dying. I need to keep all my employees. They need me as much as I need them.

After the tropical cyclone Pam, RBV has assisted banks to help us businesses recover. Then again, the Banks have requirements which are just ridiculously beyond my capacity. Who did that incentive benefit?

What is happening with the incentive from the Ministry of Ni Vanuatu Businesses? Are there still financial injections to be done, or is it still frozen? Will the Government wait for SMEs to run dry to prove a point? Could the Government assist? What other options do I have? Will the Government be able to sit down with me to discuss?

 

Be in the Investment Directory for FREE

A key focus area for Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTIA) is INVESTMENT. PTIA is a body which actively engages with investors in Australia, introducing them to opportunities in the Pacific Islands.

Last year PTIA launched its online investment directory. It is a powerful vehicle to promote investment opportunities to international investors. This is a free service that they are offering to individuals and enterprises in the Pacific Islands including Vanuatu, seeking investment opportunities.

If you are aware of any investment opportunities that would benefit from being showcased (for free) on their directory, by all means get in touch with them. See below for contact details:

Chad Morris – General Manager Investment & Tourism

Phone : +61 2 9290 2133

Email : [email protected]

Website: pacifictradeinvest.com

Call for Interested Participants – Pasifika Trade Mission to Auckland NZ

The Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ in conjunction with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) are in the planning stages for the Pasifika Trade Mission to NZ for the Pasifika Festival from 23rd to 28th March 2018.

The objectives of this mission are 1) To provide businesses with a platform for testing and selling their products to a New Zealand audience, 2) For businesses to gain unique insight into the NZ market and, 3) To facilitate introductions to potential buyers in NZ in order to do deals.

The Pasifika Festival is an annual event hosted in Auckland, New Zealand by the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) agency. The event boasts of the rich cultural diversity of the Pacific through arts and crafts, traditional performances and delicious cuisines. The weekend is a public event open to businesses and attracts crowds of up to 60,000 people.

This year for the very FIRST time at the Pasifika Festival, there is the Pacific Business Hub, an exclusive “village” for pacific businesses.  Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) have collaborated closely with ATEED and Economic Development Agencies (EDA) throughout the region to bring the Pacific Business Hub to life. The Hub will act as a central location and platform for our participants to capture potential business at this popular annual event. The Pacific Business Hub was created to provide a privileged area for business participants of the festival. As such, provide numerous marketing opportunities through the festival channels such as site location, foot traffic and a roaming microphone to interview stallholders. These will create opportunities to draw potential interested customers to new Pacific products and the wider Pasifika audience. In addition to these benefits, the Hub will contain a small stage featuring a low-key program (entertainment, product promotion, etc.) that will provide ambience to the Hub.

A call for interested business participants is out now for 42 Pacific Businesses to form the Pacific Business Hub. The call is out for businesses who fit the following criteria: 1) They must be an existing business, 2) Have products suitable for sale or display at an outdoor Festival such as Pasifika, 3) Are able to sample their products to visitors, 4) Are able to bring enough product to NZ for the Festival, 5) Have the capability to enter the market in the future, 6) Have the involvement of the owner or a senior person in the business and, 7) Be able to contribute to part of the cost of participation.

Interested Vanuatu businesses who see this as an opportunity for testing and selling their products to a New Zealand audience or gain unique insight into the market and/or introduce products to potential buyers in NZ in order to do deals and wish to participate on this Trade Mission may contact the VCCI to register their interest, as soon as possible, on email [email protected] or phone 27543.

 

Preparing for an emergency – business survival!

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

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.

During this series I have looked at the importance of planning, the need to assess risk, business recovery and business resilience action plans.

As we move towards Christmas and New Year our minds are on celebration, relaxation, families and fun. From a business perspective we will be much more relaxed if we know we have done our best to stay open for business following a disaster.

It is too late to wait until a disaster strikes.  I cannot stress enough the importance of forward planning – not just to help us through difficult times but simply as good business practice.  Businesses that do not plan will almost certainly not fulfill their potential.  Planning is not an optional extra to be done when we have time. It must be central to the way we do business.

During this series of articles I have outlined a series of steps that any business can take to help it become more resilient in the event of as disaster.

As a reminder here are the steps again:

Step 1 Identify your core products and/ or services

Step 2 Identify the essential roles and skills you will need to keep delivering them

Step 3 What essential equipment will you need?

Step 4 What essential supplies will you need?                              

Step 5 What relocation options do you have?

Step 6 Insurances – what are available and what do you need?

Step 7 Delegation of authority – who can make decisions if you as the owner are absent? Step 8 Contact details – are they up-to-date?

Step 9 Back up your business records

Step 10 Save your plan

Step 11  Emergency preparedness planning – involve everyone

Step 12 Practice the plan

Everyone in the business must understand the business continuity plan and their role during a disruption. The best way for people to remember the plan is to practice it and then review it together!  Then revise the plan.

Although a disruption could be a serious threat to your business it could also be seen as an opportunity to innovate or collaborate.  Maybe your business could grow from this experience.

None of us want a disaster but emergencies happen – many we can’t prevent but we can make sure ourselves, our families, our communities and our businesses are well prepared.

Burying our heads in the sand or being ‘too busy’ are not strategies for resilience – they are recipes for procrastination and avoidance.

SMEs are busy places and we are often reacting to issues and events. One positive proactive strategy is to collaborate with other nearby SMEs.  Maybe form a local business resilience group and help each other before, after and during a disaster.  Create a communication tree with other businesses. Join and get involved with your local Chamber of Commerce or business group or industry sector group. Use social media to link with other businesses.

Finally remember that all businesses are part of the community and it is important snd good business practice to play that part fully.

Have a safe and peaceful holiday season – I’ll be back in 2018 with new business topics of relevance to SMEs.  If you have any topic you would like me to focus on please get in touch.

 

Breadfruit Consulting have produced Be Prepared – a step-by-step disaster resilience planning guide for Pacific Island businesses – please contact me if you would like a copy and details of the workshops we 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 +67855

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VBRC 2018 First Meeting 16 January 2018, China Investment Summit New Caledonia 26-28 February and Other News

VBRC 2018 FIRST MEETING 16 January 2018

The Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee (VBRC) will be having its 1st meeting of 2018, tomorrow Tuesday 16th January 2018 at 8 am in the morning. The venue of the meeting is in the VCCI conference room. All members are invited to attend. Your contribution to VBRC development and progress is highly valued, despite of the size of your business. Please do come along.

Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee bai istap gat fes meeting blo hem blo 2018, tumoro tusde 16 January lo 8 am long moning. Ples blo meeting hemi lo VCCI conference room nomo.

Every member i invited blo kam. Contribution blo you lo development mo progress blo VBRC hemi high valiu, no matter lo size blo bisnis blo yu. Plis kam.

For more information, you can email [email protected] or call VCCI by phone 27543 or mobile 7123967.

 

CHINA INVESTMNENT SUMMIT NEW CALEDONIA 26-28 February – ALL IN ONE Business Opportunity at your doorstep

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO INVEST INTO YOUR IDEAS, OR CURRENT BUSINESS? Well here is BIG opportunity with investors looking to invest on you.

Millennium Summits has organized an event call “The China Investment Summit”. There are 156 key visiting delegates from the China region, who are looking for opportunities to establish either joint-ventures, projects and partnerships, business investment, capital investment or corporate office establishment with local companies or Government Authorities in the Pacific Islands and New Caledonia.

Examples of the visiting delegates include China Investment Corporation, Beijing Capital Investments, Yingli Solar, China INV Fund, Suntech Power, ICBC, Beijing Enterprise Water, Bank of China, China Odyssey Tours, China Natural Resources and Beijing Municipality to name a few, out of the 156! The event is tailored to make one on one meetings with delegates of YOUR CHOICE. Itinerary includes selected conference sessions, up to eight discreet one on one business meetings per day, to YOUR CHOICE. Giving you a total of three days to seal a deal.

Please click here to view and download China Investment Summit Noumea.

The venue of the event is at the Le Meridien Noumea resort, in New Caledonia. The dates are 26th to 28th of February 2018. Interested participants are encouraged to visit the website www.millenium-summits.com to register. You can also request for an immediate brochure for more information and actual cost on email [email protected]

 

SHEFA PORT-VILA PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION 2018

SHEFA PORT-VILA PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION and OFFICE is taking this chance to thank all Public Land Transport operators in Shefa and Port Vila with the spirit of corporations in helping by providing Land Transport Services in our province mainly in our capital city Port Vila to our valuable customers, tourists nationally and Internationally.

SHEFA-PV PLTA and Office is expressing its gratitude in congratulating all Land Transport providers in Van2017 Mini Games especially 54 PVELTA members as Public Vehicle operators by rewarding them a very “BIG WELL DONE JOB” by providing a very high Hospitality and Standard of Services to All Van2017 Mini Games Athletes, Technical Officials, High Diplomat Officials and Participants, not forgetting Van2017-TEAM especially Land Transport Team and Management Unit as we finally accomplished our BIG-TASK with a “BIG SUCCESS”.

PVELTA and Shefa Port Vila Public Land Transport Association President Mr Donald Massing Satungia humbly thank our Creator Almighty God who have helped direct us, our current Government Authorities, Private Sector, all our good citizens of the Republic of Vanuatu who have contributed in different ways or the other with our commitments as we can achieve our Goals by ending the year a very successful year 2017, especially to our Goal Medal-list who have ignited the spirit of the Games in all Vanuatu. All my best wishes and prosperous New Year 2018 to all of us.

Math 19:26-, With God nothing is impossible! “HAPPY NEW YEAR AND GOD BLESS”

 

PACIFIC BUSINESS DAYS TAHITI 20-23 March – AN OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED

The South Pacific Employers Organization (RPPS), a body representing 2000 companies in French Polynesia and New Caledonia, is organizing a Pacific Business Days (PBDS) event, in Tahiti, from the 20th to 23rd of March 2018. This is the first event of such large scale for regional businesses. RPPS offers sponsorship to attend the event to a Minister, a VCCI representative and a Private Sector representative of Vanuatu. There are 15 countries invited to this event. These countries are Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Solomon Islands, Niue, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

As these countries obviously share one geographical region, they have little commercial trade through which their production, expertise and specific features could be enhanced. The stated purpose of the PBDS is to foster direct communication among delegations of the main exporting countries in the region.

The participants will benefit from presentations on economic wealth, commercial trades and investments in the region. Exhibition space will be allocated for each delegation to present primary assets in goods and services. Conferences, debates, B2B meetings and delegation meetings will be happening within these 3 days. The 4th day is recommended for sightseeing and enjoying Tahitian Hospitality, before departure.

Please click here to view and download the followings:-

Businesses wishing to participate and do business networking and branding or promote their resources and industries, are welcomed to attend at their own cost. A website will be set up for this event by the 20th of January 2018, in which you can use to register online. VCCI will post the link on the 22nd of this month, in this column. If you wish to book your space before the 22nd, you can contact VCCI at [email protected] or on mobile 7713131 to assist you.

Plea of a Businessman in Vanuatu and Vanuatu Government and VCCI MOU

Plea of a Businessman in Vanuatu

From businessman Adams Lopez, 4 January 2018I have 41 workers spread between 4 different businesses. I grew these numbers in the last 5 years. Vanuatu has a very expensive platform to do business. Businesses like mine, struggle to contribute to the growth of the local economy, without basic assistance from the local Governments, banks or aid funds.

As businesses, we have to constantly pay for business name, business license, import and export licenses, every 12 months or you risk losing your business. We tend to pay high costs in electricity, water, transportation and fuel, municipal fees and provincial government fees. Most people who came to this country to do businesses, were never aware of so many fees lurking to take a lion share of their initial capital. These hidden costs are to be renewed almost all in just 12 month. Once these investors make the first steps, they soon realized how difficult and expensive it is, but by then it is rather too late to retreat.

The fees are plenty. There are 3 different fees at the airport and the wharf if you are importing goods. There’s fees for VAT and a fee to clear that VAT. This basically an inconvenient exercise for small business with a limited customer pool. I paid my workers based on the quality and output of work done. I do not pay by minimum wage, because it does not reflect the unskilled and poor literacy level in Vanuatu. But I ended up paying my unskilled workers more than the legal minimum wage. From January to December every year most of my workers rarely feel the air-con or fan because they work outside in the wet, dry, hot and cold conditions. But they have supported their children in getting an education, food and medicine. My businesses core values give priority to family basic needs, so I pay weekly wages.

The biggest winner in my businesses is the labor and the Suppliers. In other words, my employees and suppliers ( Hardware and other stores) take the chunk of the income that my business earns . However this situation does not make me adjust or deviate from my business goals. These goals supports my passion to help build local economy and bring people out of poverty. However, the cost of doing businesses in Vanuatu is proven to be very expensive and extremely difficult for all sorts of reasons that cannot be explained, to the expense of its citizens. Most people, either local or immigrants will never see the projected return on their investment in a lifetime.

As a student at a very young age, I often believe, just like all of us, that our problems will be taken care of by our chiefs, pastors, and government. But early on, I realised I was far too wrong. As years goes by I noticed that this country, instead of improving the life’s of its citizen, is making worst.

Worst in all the necessary basic things required to make our country better. I now believed that my grandparents were more literate than our new generations. That level of literacy helped them to have a great life. Today our literacy, albeit very poor, hangs on a very thin layer of uninspired decision makers and their bad taste for development. Our local Government, I must say, is just so full of “ol big hed” who think they know how to run this country. And they believe so strongly they almost believe in their illiterate understanding of how a country works. Now you see they introduce VAT at 15% and you probably be thinking that’s good to bring in more money for the government. They increase minimum wage to 200vt and you are made to believe that would offset the new VAT increase.

But little do you know that businesses will eventually charge all these increases on you, the customer. You think you are going to fair well with the increase in living cost. You are on the wrong side of learning how a country works. Here is the simplest way of making some sense of how you can better understand these new scenarios.

If a country cannot increase business, if it cannot provide a comfortable environment for new businesses, if it continues to milk more for fees and hidden costs, there is no need to increase minimum wages and VAT. Because our government has not done enough to bring in new businesses and assist the private sector to create businesses that would increase employment, skills and opportunities, it has shot himself in the foot. By shooting yourself in the foot means you have disabled yourselves to be of any good.

If this country does not build the bases of its economy then it is wrong to increase the cost of living. The foundation of Vanuatu’s economy is in the private sector of creating products and export.

The government must not be seen as a business in itself. Government is a regulator that ensure compliance with good rules. By putting gate fees and book fees you are scaring the very businesses that make this country. If we are able to consume 600 sea containers of foreign goods each month and cannot export a minimum of 20 containers the same month, we are really cheating ourselves. In other words, all our little hard earned monies ends up in China where most of our goods comes from. Because we cannot make any new money, soon we should see our government kneeling on its knees to beg for more foreign assistance and aid. So the cycle of begging and poverty continues in this country, and grow worse by the day. If you who like to argue that there is no poverty in this country, I’m sorry to say you are living in a dream. If you say oh tourism would bring us the money, I’m sorry to say Vanuatu has very very little to offer for tourists. Vanuatu does not stand a good chance of being a favourite tourist destination.

The tourists you see in town are here on a circuit tour. Most of them would never dare coming back for a second visit. So what a hard year it’s going to be for the children of Vanuatu. For the 41 people I employed in my businesses, more than half would have to lose their jobs this January 2018, as goods and services prices takes the new price increases. As businesses, we constantly take new strategies to keep cost down. So I’m downsizing the number of my workers. Definitely, I will face a hard time trying to find skilled workers in a country lacking in skills.

While I do love my country and been part in creating jobs and building a local economy, I reserve the last straw of patience. Once that patience is evaporated, it will be a new beginning in a different country.

So let me, on behalf of many who do not understand the mechanics of our economy, urge our government to stop wasting time and money on the wrong advices from its economists and decision makers. Do not use our government as a comfort zone for illiterate politicians who wish only for himself and his electorates in his term in office and cannot contribute to building the economy. Stop your weekly meetings. People attending meetings every week never get things done. Stop trying to find the right formula for development or invent new wheels. Listen to the private sector where they ran their businesses by the book.

If only you can listen then you will learn where your money is coming from. In other words, put money where your mouth is. Do not waste any more time or you will see a massive drop in businesses in 2018 and those taking flights for a greener pastures. If you feel offended, have the guts to tell our people how to intend on building a good nation for all of us.

Vanuatu Government and VCCI MOU

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), has proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Vanuatu Government and Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This will support the private sector and businesses of Vanuatu, to reform VCCI and take the private sector development to the next level.

VCCI urges the Ministry of Tourism Trade Commerce Industry and Ni Vanuatu Businesses in 2018, to accept and give the opportunity to arrange a meeting for VCCI Council, to brief the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Trade Commerce Industry and Ni Vanuatu Businesses, on this key important MOU. This MOU will enable the reform of VCCI and the implementation of the goals and policy objectives, of both the Economy Pillar and Environment Pillar of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) of Vanuatu from 2016 to 2030.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VCCI will begin 2018 with New Certificate III Courses in Business and Finance, VCCI Welcomes Business Resilience Coordinator and Other News

VCCI will begin 2018 with New Certificate III Courses in Business and Finance.

VCCI Training and Business Development Services (BDS) will kick start 2018 with two new accredited courses, Certificate III in Business (Micro Business Operations) and Certificate III in Finance (Accounting). These are nationally recognised courses approved by the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA) through a quality assurance process that ensures that the courses meet the Vanuatu Quality Training Framework (VQTF) Standards and Conditions for Course Accreditation.

The new courses are expected to be a strong tool for business and entrepreneurship development as well as a job readiness or up skilling tool for those interested in a career in business or wish to further their opportunities in the workplace.

The Certificate III in Business (Micro Business Operations) is intended to develop an individual’s competencies with a range of knowledge and skills to perform functions associated with managing and operating a micro/small business.

The Certificate III in Finance (Accounting) is intended to develop an individual’s competencies with a range of knowledge and skills to effectively perform accounting, bookkeeping and financial services support functions associated with managing finances for a small business or organisation.

While enrolments for the courses are still open, semester 1 for year 2018 will begin with full orientation on 15th February 2018 for selected applicants and the courses will begin on 19th February 2018.

Micro/small business operators, employees, and students who are interested, may obtain further information on the courses and application forms from the VCCI Office on phone 27543/ 7123967 or email [email protected] or visit the VCCI website.

As the year comes to a close, we would like to thank all of our valued members, students, friends, and the Vanuatu Government and development partners, for the support we have received in 2017. The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be closed from Monday 18 December 2017, re-opening on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a sustainable and resilient Successful New Year 2018!

 

VCCI Welcomes Business Resilience Coordinator

eliu-vakalnangis-luen

Mr. Eliu Luen

As year 2017 closes, VCCI welcomes a new team member to the role of Business Resilience Coordinator for its Employers Trade Promotion Resilience unit.

Full name: Eliu Vakalnangis Luen

Island of origin: Puninga

Educational background: Eliu holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from the Pacific Adventist University in PNG and a Diploma in Accounting and Management from Fulton College in Fiji.

Occupational background: Eliu has over ten years of experience dealing and engaging with businesses, government and the private sector as well as local communities. He has worked as Associate CFO/Auditor SDA Mission, Business Manager at Aore Adventist Academy, Accountant at Vanuatu Terminal Services Ltd and Assistant Account at the Department of Finance.

As the Business Resilience Coordinator, Eliu’s key responsibilities are to establish a Vanuatu business disaster and resilience network guided by the newly established Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee (VBRC), strengthen private sector engagement in disaster risk management and climate change, and create strategic partnerships and identify opportunities for collaboration through the VBRC and the Vanuatu Employers Organisation (VEO). He will also implement a communication strategy and share best practice on business disaster resilience to business and the private sector, embed the private sector into disaster risk management and climate change structures and ensure the ongoing sustainability of activities through resource mobilisation. Furthermore, Eliu will also coordinate and manage program development, information source system development, as well as trade and promotion activities of the VCCI.

Eliu Luen entered office and started as the Business Resilience Coordinator on Friday 1st of December 2017.

Welcome to the team.

 

Surviving an emergency – business recovery!

 

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

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 recovery plan (this is sometimes called a business continuity 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 only the well-publicised cyclones or tsunamis – fire destroys many businesses, health issues close many other, 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 and they have the ability to turn crises into a source of strategic opportunity.

What is a business recovery plan

This plan records what you will do after a disaster to continue to run your business. Of course, it has to be created before the event!! Think about these areas and begin to make notes:

Your priority products and/ or services

There will be a few priority products and/ or services that are fundamental to the survival of your business and that you will want to make available to your existing key customers.

You might also want to supply new customers that may emerge after a disaster, for example government agencies and NGOs.

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

To deliver the key products and/ or services that you have previously identified, certain fundamental tasks must be completed. You, or staff members, usually take responsibility for these tasks. You need to think about how to share the load and what would happen if those key people were not available. Can others from inside or outside the business step in to do these tasks?

Do any of the tasks involve business processes that require authority – such as financial delegation?

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

To complete your priority tasks you may need essential tools, equipment, and computer software. Your own may be destroyed, damaged or inaccessible.

You need to think sbout where you could get these essentials from, and whether alternatives could be used.

Can you buy, hire or borrow replacement equipment anywhere locally?

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

Priority stock snd resources and key suppliers

To complete your priority tasks you may need essential resources including utilities. Your own stocks of resources may be destroyed, damaged or inaccessible.

You need to think about where you can get these resources from and whether there are alternatives to what you usually use.

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.

Priority customers

Some customers are particularly important to you because they are members of your local community, you have ongoing contracts with them, or they account for significant amounts of your business income. Where possible you want to keep supplying your most important customers.

In a disaster new customers might emerge like government departments or NGOs. Think about what you sell that they might need to buy after a disaster.

Make a list of your priority customers.

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.

Delegation of authority

If you as the owner or manager is unable to run the business and make key decisions then someone has to be able to step into your role. This includes handling potentially sensitive and confidential business information.

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.

Priority business records and systems

In a disaster the business records and systems you need to run your business may be damaged, destroyed or inaccessible. Backing up your data onto a portable hard drive that is kept in the office is not much use if the office is destroyed!!

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

Critical communications channels

You probably use landline phones, mobile phones and emails to communicate with staff, customers, suppliers, utility providers and government offices. You probably get some important information via the radio or the web. You need to work out what you will do if any of these communication methods is not working.

List your usual communications channels, potential problems and alternatives.

Information, advice and assistance

You must take responsibility to make sure you are well informed about what to do to prepare your business for a disaster and what to do should a disaster situation arise.

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.

Collaboration

If a natural disaster affects your business, it is likely that many other businesses around you will be affected as well. It is worth considering how you might collaborate with other businesses to share skills, equipment, property snd other resources.

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

In the next article I will move on to looking at a business resilience action plan which focuses on what to do BEFORE a disaster hits, to make sure your business is more resilient and is as prepared as possible to deal with a disaster if it happens. We will look at the same topics but this time from the point of view of what actions to take now to plan before a disaster hits.

Breadfruit Consulting have produced Be Prepared – a step-by-step disaster resilience planning guide for Pacific Island businesses, you can 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 +6785500556 

Surviving an emergency – analyse risk, ILO Survey 2017 on Women in Business and Management and Other News

Surviving an emergency – analyse risk!

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

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 disaster risk analysis for your business.

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 only the well-publicised cyclones or tsunamis – fire destroys many businesses, health issues close many other, 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 and they have the ability to turn crises into a source of strategic opportunity.

What is a disaster risk analysis?

This analysis identifies what the greatest disaster risks are for your business and what damage they could do for you, your employees, your guests and your business. Thinking about what could happen, helps you to decide what to do to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from as disaster.

Every business is vulnerable to disasters that could have an affect on the business itself, and on the lives and livelihoods of you and your family, your employees and their families, and the customers snd communities the business serves.

Draw up a simple table with 5 columns. 

Column one – possible disasters

Head the first column possible disasters and list as many as you can think of that could affect your business. The list might include cyclones, Tsunami, flood, fire, drought, volcanic eruption, earthquake but could also include failure to essential services (power, water, internet, supply of fuel for generators), accidents (business vehicles, workplace, sport, tourist transport), business owner’s absence, theft, civil unrest, internet security breach, dramatic drop in tourist numbers, banking crisis, lack of products/ goods to sell. This list is not exhaustive – think seriously about what could affect your business. Brainstorm with staff and others.

Column two – how likely is this to happen?

Mark every possible disaster on a scale of 1=very; 2=not very, 3=not at all.

Column three – how much warning might we get?

Again go down your list of possible disasters and mark on a scale of 1=none; 2=less than a week; 3=more than a week.

Column four – what might the impact be on my business?

Work through each disaster, especially those with a 1 rating and start to make notes on how this particular disaster could affect your business. At this stage you are not trying to solve anything but just to create a well thought through analysis of the likely risks and their impact on your business. You may not live near the coast so a tsunami may not directly affect your business but could it affect your customers or suppliers and therefore indirectly affect your business?

Column five – how serious might the impact be on your business?

Mark each disaster on a scale of 1=it could ruin us; 2=very serious but we could cope; 3=not vey serious.

Now you have your own disaster risk analysis focused on your own business need. Share it with your staff and maybe nearby businesses especially if you share a risk.

In the next articles I will move on to looking at a business recovery plan (or business continuity plan) which records what you will do AFTER a disaster to keep running your business and a business resilience action plan which focuses on what to do BEFORE a disaster hits, to make sure your business is more resilient and is as prepared as possible to deal with a disaster if it happens.

Breadfruit Consulting have produced Be Prepared – a step-by-step disaster resilience planning guide for Pacific Island businesses, you can 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 +6785500556

 

ILO SURVEY 2017 ON WOMEN IN BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT

This is a reminder that the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) wishes to advise that the Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP) of International Labour Organisation (ILO), together with a research services firm, is conducting a global survey on Women in Business and Management.

Vanuatu businesses are invited to respond to this survey questionnaire.

The results of the survey will be used to track progress on women’s leadership in the private sector, building on the results captured in the 2013 global survey, and will be presented in a publicly available global report to be released in 2019.

To ensure the views of Vanuatu businesses are captured in this report and to help ILO continue to respond to our needs on gender diversity and women’s entrepreneurship, VCCI would encourage you to send out the survey link to business association members and any businesses.

The survey will run from 28 November 2017 to 19 December 2017 and can be accessed in multiple languages and on mobile devices via this link:

https://surveys.globaltestmarket.com/survey/gmi/v3/EMEA/112159145/ClientSample?_dj

VCCI thanks you in advance for your help and participation.

For more information, you can contact VCCI Reception by phone 27543 or mobile 7123 967, and by email [email protected]

 

Pacific Island Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) Consultancy

Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) in partnership with Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Europe, are currently establishing a project on “Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in the Pacific” in 7 Pacific Island Countries including Vanuatu. Part of the project requires a research on the Analysis of Relevant Business Environment including Financing Mechanisms for Value Chain Development.

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a member of PIPSO.

PIPSO, would like to know if you would be interested in tendering for the above research since this relates to business legislation and financing mechanisms. If yes, please email [email protected] or [email protected] for further information before 13 December 2017.

 

VCCI Farewells Senior Staffs Francois Kavirere and Stephen Soole

Two senior staff have ended their work assignments with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). In separate farewell ceremonies, the general manager and staff of the VCCI received Mr. Francois Kavirere and Mr. Stephen Soole with their spouses to exchange a fond farewell upon conclusion of their service to the VCCI.

Mr. Kavirere has served the VCCI as the Senior Agribusiness and Project Officer in the Agribusiness Unit for ten years. With expert background in agriculture and horticulture, Mr. Kavirere’s role was to develop farmers to take the step and progress into commercial or semi-commercial farming through Techniques in Commercial Farming Systems and Farming as a Business as well as support to access finance. Mr. Kavirere’s key achievements include training and/or coaching of over 200 smallholder farmers in all six provinces of Vanuatu, an agribusiness industry scoping exercise for the Skills for Agribusiness Program in 2016 and the establishment of farmer associations in several islands as a platform for partnerships and market access. Mr. Kavirere also provided business development services (BDS) support through assisting smallholder farmers to get formal business name registration and obtain business license.

Mr. Soole has served the VCCI as the Agricultural Association Advisor on a two year volunteer assignment through the New Zealand Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) program. With a background in horticulture and local government, Mr. Soole’s assignment was focused on forming producer associations for core agriculture and horticultural producers in the industry as well as the development of communities of practice models. Mr. Soole’s key achievements include a national beef cattle survey conducted in 2016 and the development of the Livestock Industry Development Plan in 2017 to assist smallholder and commercial farmers to continue to improve cattle production to maintain the organic quality of beef in the country. He also mentored staff providing policy advice, experience sharing and support to the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) program.

The VCCI acknowledges Mr. Kavirere and Mr. Soole for their valuable contribution and support to the business community, government and people of Vanuatu during their service at the VCCI. They have significantly contributed to elevating Vanuatu.

AgriTourism Forum 5th December, Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee Meeting 5th December 2017 and Other News

AGRITOURISM FORUM 5 December 2017

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) wishes to advise that the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Tourism and Ni Vanuatu Business, and the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, are kindly inviting any interested businesses to attend a full day Agritourism Forum that will be held on Tuesday 5 December 2017 at the Melanesian Conference Room.

The theme for the forum is “From Farm to Table”. This program is to engage farmers who are ready to supply their produce to the domestic markets of hotels, resorts and restaurants in Port Vila and Luganville.

Please click to view and download National AgriTourism Forum 2017 Program

If you are interested to attend and contribute to the Agritourism Forum, you can confirm your attendance to the Committee Secretary, Linda Sam at the Department of Tourism, by phone 33400 or by email [email protected]

 

VANUATU BUSINESS RESILIENCE COMMITTEE MEETING 5 DECEMBER 2017

The first Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee (VBRC) Meeting will take place on Tuesday 5 December 2017 at 3pm at VCCI.

The meeting will be attended by both the Executive Members and Regular Members of VBRC. Any interested businesses are also invited to attend the meeting.

For any further information, you can contact VCCI Reception by phone 27543 or mobile 7123 967, and by email [email protected]

ILO SURVEY 2017 ON WOMEN IN BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) wishes to advise that the Bureau for Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP) of International Labour Organisation (ILO), together with a research services firm, is conducting a global survey on Women in Business and Management.

Vanuatu businesses are invited to respond to this survey questionnaire.

The results of the survey will be used to track progress on women’s leadership in the private sector, building on the results captured in the 2013 global survey, and will be presented in a publicly available global report to be released in 2019.

To ensure the views of Vanuatu businesses are captured in this report and to help ILO continue to respond to our needs on gender diversity and women’s entrepreneurship, VCCI would encourage you to send out the survey link to business association members and any businesses.

The survey will run from 28 November 2017 to 19 December 2017 and can be accessed in multiple languages and on mobile devices via this link:

https://surveys.globaltestmarket.com/survey/gmi/v3/EMEA/112159145/ClientSample?_dj

VCCI thanks you in advance for your help and participation.

For more information, you can contact VCCI Reception by phone 27543 or mobile 7123 967, and by email [email protected]

 

THE DEATH OF LOCAL INDUSTRIES

Vanuatu is a country with a small manufacturing sector less developed since most of the raw materials are imported. The market being very small, depreciation on investments weighs heavily in the costs of the locally made products. This also explains a high cost of energy for the Vanuatu zone, and this cost of energy is relatively heavy in the costs of production of manufacturers and economic actors in the country.

All the neighbouring countries of Vanuatu have put in place protection policies and measures aimed to help their local industries including Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, and Tahiti. However, in Vanuatu to the reverse, the country is studying the possibilities on how to increase taxation on local industries! If this is confirmed, this will result in the increase of prices, the automation of the manufactories having the effect of reducing the number of staff employed by local businesses.

Although the workforce cost is lower in Vanuatu than the workforce cost in some neighbouring countries, the cost of producing in Vanuatu is higher because the import duties are higher compared to low duties on finished products, thus causing a ludicrous situation where imported finished products are less expensive than the locally made products, as it is now the case for imported windows and locally produced windows. These locally made products in Vanuatu are the products that generate local employment and VAT.

The VCCI representative, General Manager, has been appointed to represent the VCCI and private sector in the recently set up Industry Support Taskforce Committee (ISTC) under the Ministry of Tourism Trade Industry and Ni Vanuatu Businesses following the COM Decision 270 of 2017.

The ISTC is composed of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry and Ni Vanuatu Businesses, the Ministry of Finance, the Department of Industry, the Tax Policy Unit of Department of Finance and Economic Management, the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Department of External Trade, the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue, and the Department of Agriculture. There is only one appointed member representing Vanuatu Businesses among a total of 8 appointed members, with 7 appointed members who are public servants, plus 2 consultants of Customs Department.

It is hoped that the ISTC will work towards protecting local manufacturing industries and trades businesses to strengthen their development and growth, and not contributing to the reduction of local employment and closing down of businesses in Vanuatu. The excise tax for locally produced beers at VT80 per litre was effective in the years 2007-2008, and the question is why such initiative that existed a few years ago cannot be resurrected today.

The VCCI initiative in 2017 has been to submit in a letter dated 6 October 2017 to the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Trade Industry and Ni Vanuatu Businesses, a proposed MOU between Vanuatu Government and VCCI for a high level formal working relationship between Vanuatu Government and VCCI to strengthen the public-private sector partnership and achieve the National Sustainable Development Plan 2017-2030. To date, VCCI has not received any reply on this highly important matter impacting the development of Vanuatu’s economy. VCCI represents businesses which are holders of the following business licence categories: A – Mining, Quarrying and Logging; B – Manufacturing Industries and Trades; C – Construction Industries and Trades; D1 – Import and Re-Export; D2 – Retailer or Wholesaler; D2a – Specialty Shops; D3 – Hotels, Motels, Restaurants, Cafes and Bars; D3a – Hotels and Resorts Accommodations; D3b – Motels & Self Contained; D3c – Modern Bungalows; D3d – Holiday Homes; D3e – Guest Houses; D3f – Island Bungalows; D3g – Home Stays; D3i – Restaurants; D3j – Cafes; D3k – Bars; D4a – Take-Away Food Outlets; D4b – Catering Services; D5 – Open-Air Vendors, Mobile Shops and Door-to-Door Sales; E1a – Air Transport; E1b – Sea Transport; E1c – Land Transport; E2 – Storage Facilities; E3 – Tourism Services; E3(1) – Air Tourism Transports; E3(2a) – Water Transports; E3(2b) – Yacht or Boat Charters; E3(3a) – Tourism Land transportation; E3(3b) – Tours & Transfers; E3(4a) – Educational & Interest Tours; E3(4b) – Travel Agency; E3(4c) – Inbound Operator; E3(4d) – Tour Guide; E3(5a) – Marine & Water Adventure; E3(5b) – Scuba Diving; E3(5d) – Game Fishing Tour; E3(6a) – Land Adventures; E3(6e) – Other Services; E4 – Hire Services; E4a – Rentals; F1 – Commercial Banks; F2 – Other Financial Institutions; F3a – Domiciled Vanuatu Licensed Insurance Company; F3b – Non-Domiciled Vanuatu Licensed Insurance Company; F3c – Insurance Agents; F3d – Insurance Brokers; F4a – Other Professional and Business Services; F4b – Other Professional and Business Services; G1 – Human and animal health Services; G1 – Medical and Dental Practitioners, Optometrists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Nursing Services and Veterinary Services; G2 – Personal, Social, Recreational and Repair Services; G2a – Recreational Services; G2b – Barber and Beauty Services; G2c – Educational Services; G2d – Repairs & Other Services; I1 – Electricity Generation and Distribution Companies; I2 – Telegraphic and Communication Service Companies and Providers; I3 – Water Works, Distribution and Supply Companies and Providers; I4 – Radio and Television Broadcasting Companies and Providers; J – Artist And Sculptors; K – Planters, Farmers, Dairy Men, Market and other Gardeners, Stock Breeders, Vegetable and Fruit Hawkers; and L – Fishermen.

 

FROM MONDAY THE 4TH DECEMBER TO FRIDAY THE 15TH DECEMBER

  • ACTIV – AELAN Xmas market- marché de Noël at the espace de l’Alliance Française in Port Vila
  • Wide range of products 100% from the islands of Vanuatu with handicrafts, carving, spices, oil and chocolate
  • Launch of the AELAN chocolate with local products range

Official opening Tuesday 5th December from 5 pm to 7 pm with kava and soft drinks. You are all warmly welcome to attend this event and find your perfect gifts for the end of the year celebrations

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Picture 1: ACTIV – AELAN Xmas Market- Marché de Noël

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Picture 2: ACTIV – AELAN Xmas Market- Marché de Noël

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Picture 3: ACTIV – AELAN Xmas Market- Marché de Noël

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Picture 4: ACTIV – AELAN Xmas Market- Marché de Noël

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Picture 5: ACTIV – AELAN Xmas Market- Marché de Noël

 

 

Wik Blong Vanuatu 2017 10th Anniversary in Noumea, New Caledonia, AgriTourism Forum and VBRC Meeting 5th December.

Wik Blong Vanuatu 2017 10th Anniversary in Noumea, New Caledonia

On 16, 17 and 18 November 2017, Noumea once again welcomed Vanuatu artists and micro small medium and large businesses to showcase their original and authentic made in Vanuatu products and professional services information to the New Caledonia population to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Wik Blong Vanuatu since 2008.

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) led the coordination of Vanuatu delegation consisting of 47 micro small and medium enterprises representing Vanuatu’s finest handicrafts, textile, and food products, 12 Tourism operators under the Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), and 9 business sponsors in the Info Investment booth of VCCI at the famous La Place des Cocotiers, Noumea.

This year’s made in Vanuatu product line included the renowned Ambrym tam-tams and black palms and other original carvings and sculptures, beautiful dresses of all kinds, cosmetic products, organic products, such as coffee, chocolate, spices, vanilla, chips, peanuts, nangae nuts, coconut oil, kava products, processed cassava and taro, pineapple and feijoa juices, tomato sauces and processed beef tuluk products. The mamas successfully sold out pandanus-made products such as mats and hats, as well as a wide variety of textile products. Some MSMEs successfully achieved the results of having an agent and or distributor(s) of their made in Vanuatu products in New Caledonia.

This annual event achieved successful results and saw more than 20,000 people visiting the booths of Micro Small Medium and Large businesses of Vanuatu.

The event was officially opened on Thursday 16 November 2017 by a formal custom ceremony, which saw Chief Isaac Worwor presenting ceremonial gifts to the Chiefs of Noumea, who in return put their blessing upon the event. The custom ceremony was followed by series of official words of gratitude between Vanuatu and New Caledonia officials. The Wik Blong Vanuatu 2017 celebrating the 10th Anniversary was solemnly opened by David Russet, First Vice-President of VCCI.

As part of the entertainment, Lukunaeva String Band, mainly sponsored by VCCI, added up some warmth and colour for the three days at La Place des Cocotiers. A Vanuatu renowned Dancing Group from the Banks Islands sponsored by VTO also took part in the entertainment program.

In recognition for their contribution VCCI wishes to acknowledge and sincerely thank the following partners and sponsors, the Government of Vanuatu, the Government of New Caledonia, Southern Province of New Caledonia, Northern Province of New Caledonia, Mairie of Noumea and Association “Nouméa Centre-Ville” ; the 47 MSMEs of Vanuatu ; the VTO and 12 Tourism operators of Vanuatu ; and the 10 business sponsors of Vanuatu, which sponsored the successful Investment Info Evening at Nouvata Hotel on 15 November 2017, including AJC, Barrett and Partners, Bred Vanuatu, BSP, Caillard Kaddour, Law Partners, NBV, Techno Bois, Vanuatu Brewing Ltd and Paris Shopping.

 

Photo 1 Carvings

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Photo 2 Cosmetic Products

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Photo 3 Handicrafts

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Photo 4 Crowd on 16 November 2017

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AGRITOURISM FORUM 5 DECEMBER 2017 

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) wish to advise Micro Small Medium and Large Businesses of Vanuatu that the Agritourism Steering Committee under the joint cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism Trade Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture will conduct the Agritourism Forum 2017.

The Agri – Tourism Forum theme for this year is “from farm to table”. The main objectives of this forum are to wrap up this year as the Year Blong Agritourism, create more awareness on the significant agritourism rural urban linkages and reflect back on the challenges and achievements made for this year including the Pacific Week of Agriculture. There will be specific presentations focusing on Agritourism plan of action, agricultural productivity, tourism linkages, market standards and access, agritourism and climate change, and financial inclusion. The Agritourism Forum 2017 will be held on Tuesday 5 December 2017, venue to be confirmed.

For more information if you are interested to attend the Agritourism Forum, you can contact VCCI Reception by phone 27543 or mobile phone 7123967, and by email [email protected]

 

VBRC MEETING 5 DECEMBER 2017

The first Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee (VBRC) Executive Meeting will take place on Tuesday 5 December 2017 at 3pm at VCCI. The meeting will be attended by both the Executive Members and Regular Members of VBRC. Any interested businesses are also invited to attend the meeting.

 

For any further information, you can contact VCCI Reception by phone 27543 or mobile 7123 967, and by email [email protected]

Quality Production Training to Encourage Quality Handicrafts in Torba Province and Going for gold – being the best you can be

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Quality Production Training to Encourage Quality Handicrafts in Torba Province

The Business Development Services (BDS) Section of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) conducted a five days training workshop on Quality Production to members of Torba Province’s handicraft sector from the 30th October to 3rd November 2017 at the Esuva Hall in Sola, Vanua Lava. The training was organised and funded by the Vanuatu Skills Partnership Program, formerly called the TVET Sector Strengthening Program, through its Torba Skills Centre’s programs to meet sectoral skill development priorities.

The main objectives of the workshop was to encourage production of quality handicraft products that meet the quality needs of handicraft markets both local and overseas, to encourage product innovation in the production of crafts and to encourage and promote women and people with disability in business developments. This training is timely as Torba has a new handicraft market centre built due to increased tourism activities in the province.

Recipients of this quality production training were 10 handicraft providers in the Torba handicraft sector from the islands of Gaua, Motalava, Rah, West of Vanualava (Vureas) and Ureparapara. Participants are active craft producers who supply the markets in Luganville, Port Vila and the handicraft centre in Sola.

The training focused on the following 3 main areas: 1) Quality standards, to encourage the participants to have some process for identifying quality needs customers such as tourist, local etc and put in place some product standards or specifications to guide their production for quality, 2) Product quality improvement, to encourage participants to improve the quality of the products they currently produce through advise on quality improvement points and quality unique areas of specific products, and 3) Product innovation, to encourage the participants to practice innovation in their production and venture into areas such as tribal jewelry, cane and bamboo, tribal paintings, stone and pottery, metal and recycle materials, gifts and novelties etc.

The VCCI was engaged to provide this training in Torba Province following the experiences of Tafea Province in September 2017, Sanma Province in 2016 and Malampa Province few years ago where the same training was undertaken in Lakatoro, Malekula Island which led to the development of the now successful Malampa Handicraft Centre.

 

Going for gold – being the best you can be!

A series of short practical articles on transforming our society through business.

Businesses, especially very small, small and medium sized businesses are the lifeblood of the Pacific. They provide for our needs, employ our people, energise our communities, help us fulfil our potential and provide a future for our young people. Businesses have the power to transform our world one step at a time. Business leaders have a responsibility to use that power wisely, ethically and responsibly.

During this short series of articles Chris Elphick looks at the transformational power of business.

 

Today the focus is on attracting and growing the next generation of transformational leaders and entrepreneurs.

None of us will last forever! But maybe we can leave a legacy that will help future generations.

Transformational businesses, as well as being productive and profitable, should also be thinking about the next generation. Are we going to attract the best young talent that is out there and turn them into visionary leaders of the future? That would be some legacy!

Our leadership today requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation – they will inherit the consequences of what we do today.

As corporate citizens we have a responsibility to be thinking about our future employees and the contribution we can make to young workers as they begin their journey into work. To do this our businesses need to be attractive to the next generation – here are a few things we need to be thinking about:

Why would anyone want to work for us?

This is the key question and it is not just to do with money. Yes, we need to pay people properly but we need to do much more – we need to run an attractive and respectful working environment with good terms and conditions of employment and a safe working environment.

 

Do we have any form of young worker or apprenticeship programme?

It might be possible to offer part-time or ‘intern’ work to young people so they can get a feel for what we do and what it would be like working for us.

Do we go to schools and youth groups and talk about what we do and why we do it?

These are our employees of the future – we could give young people the chance, while still at school, to come and visit and maybe spend a few hours with us to experience what work will be like for them. This gives us a chance to identify the workers we want in the future and them the chance to see if we are likely to be their employer of choice!

Do we have a reputation for being an excellent employer?

We operate in small communities and the word easily gets round! Are we known for being a good, friendly and reliable employer?

Does our business contribute positively to the local community?

There is much evidence to show that people want to be part of businesses that contribute to the local community, especially the one they live in – we might support local events or sponsor community activities or contribute to schools or clinics or run sports events.

Does our business care about the environment?

If we care about our environment we need to let people know – we might provide bins for recycling outside our shops or factories or offices; we might promote our environmental policies to our customers and suppliers; we might use suppliers who are themselves environmentally friendly.

Do our staff have the opportunity to learn new skills and to grow themselves?

The best way to build the businesses we want is to recruit people for the right attitude and then train them in the skills we need. Even small businesses can coach and mentor their staff, help with access to the internet, send people to workshops and training run locally, join business support networks like Chambers of Commerce, share out jobs, use older workers to inspire younger people.

Is our workplace a fun place to be?

We spend a large part of our lives at work – too long to be bored or disengaged! Young people want fun in their lives and there is ample evidence to show that relaxed and fun filled workplaces are also productive and profitable workplaces – staff turnover and absenteeism drops to nearly nil in these circumstances!

Do we let people know what we stand for/ what our values are?

Value driven workplaces attract customers, staff and suppliers who share those values, as long as they are not carefully guarded secrets!

What do our current staff tell their sons and daughters about working for us?

I wonder if we know!! Do our staff go home with a strong feeling of satisfaction for having done a good day’s work and for having received good recognition and appreciation or are they looking forward to Friday, right from Monday morning! Let’ try and find out and do something sbout it.

I think there can be nothing more important for a business man and woman than to attract and grow the next generation of leaders. Not only is it highly satisfying it is also great fun!!

 

Chris Elphick is Director of Learn.fast Pacific, supporting the development of a range of businesses and organisations in Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomons and other Pacific countries. He is an experienced business mentor and has years of experience of working with Small & Medium Enterprises. Learnfast Pacific works in close association with business support organisations throughout the Pacific.

If you have a business issue for Chris to comment on please contact him at [email protected]

Demand for entrepreneurship training on the rise, Business Conference on New Technologies 21-22 November and Other News.

Demand for entrepreneurship training on the rise

In an effort to improve the quality of entrepreneurship trainers in the pacific, a Training of Master Trainers on Start & Improve Your Business (SIYB) commenced at the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) on 6th November 2017. The training is technically supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and organized in partnership with the VCCI.

This 10 SIYB certified trainers from 6 pacific countries will undergo an intensive 10 day training and post certification process. The President of the VCCI, Mr Thomas Bayer in opening the training welcomed the regional participants and reminded them that they were part of the largest global business training programme in the world.

Ms Ferite Osa Tone, from the Small Business Enterprise Center (SBEC) in Samoa said that she expected to gain and absorb new ideas, skills and knowledge to improve her capacity in delivering entrepreneurship training. “The closure of the largest private employer in Samoa, Yazaki, has caused an increase in the demand for training, this year. SBEC is at the front of supporting redundant workers to transit into self-employment. What I gain from this training will allow me to support my organization and country better”, she said.

The pacific has only one SIYB Master Trainer, Mr Peter Piawu, who is based in Papua New Guinea. He is supporting the SIYB International Master Trainer, Gemunu Wijesena from the Sri Lanka Master Trainers Association. “It has taken some time to plan and organize this training and we are very pleased that at the end of the process, we will increase the number of master trainers in the pacific,” said Mr Satoshi Sasaki, the Officer-in-Charge of the ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries. He further added that this will further strengthen the SIYB value chain and have better outcomes at country level.

The VCCI has a dedicated training section and offers the SIYB training to members and youths. One of the trainees aiming to be certified as a Master Trainer is Mr Kalwajin Skepha who received his SIYB trainer certification in 2015. “There are new techniques of delivering training so it is more interesting and relevant to my target audience, is what I hope to gain from this training”, said Mr Skepha. At the end of the day, I want to contribute to the development of MSME’s in Vanuatu, he further added.

In Solomon Islands, the SIYB programme is delivered by Youth at Work and Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA). In Fiji, the training is delivered by the Corporative Department and Integrated Human Resource Development Programme (IHRDP). In Papua New Guinea the training is delivered by Small & Medium Enterprise Corporation (SMEC). In Kiribati, it is offered by the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI). However, individual trainers, are also trained and certified in various countries to deliver this training.

Over the years, Vanuatu has used the SIYB to expand its Business Development Services (BDS) to persons with disabilities in Santo and conducted a TNA to tailor a package for Island Based Contractors (IBC) in Tanna.

This training concludes on 17th November 2017, however, the certification process can last up to a year, depending on the progress made on each of the trainees against post training objectives.

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Participants of the ILO SIYB Master Training

 

Business Conference on New Technologies Port Vila 21-22 November 2017

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) would like to advise and invite businesses, banks, government, employers, accountants, book keepers, finance officers, NGOs, and employees, on behalf of AJC in partnership with Business Link Pacific Programme (NZ government fund), ANZ, TRR, TVL, Digicel, and Ramada Resort to a Business Conference on 21 (Tuesday) and 22 (Wednesday) November 2017 at Ramada Resort.

The event will create awareness on new technologies and how these can help the development of Vanuatu. Tuesday, November 21 Open to business owners, banks, government, employers, etc.   The current block chain landscape.   Future proof of the economy from natural disasters with cloud technology.   Digital ecosystem: A better insight in the local economy and applications for everyday business.   Xero demonstration with real-life case study.   Q&A session, set up an in-depth one on one sessions during the day.   Business Networking.   Wednesday, November 22 Open to accountants, book keepers, finance officers, NGOs, employees, etc.   Practical training session on how to set up clients on Xero/migrate them from existing accounting systems.   Tips & tricks, troubleshooting session for advanced users.   Overview of Xero Practice Manager/Workflow Max for accountants and advisors   One on one appointment for Xero advisors, users with the facilitators.   The Keynote speakers are Matthew Peng and Tejas Chandra from Business Continuum.   Follow this link http://ajc-vanuatu.com/digitalfuture2017/ to register your interest in attending; you must register in order to participate. Registration is free but only confirmed registered participants will be allowed to attend. Please register before 15 November 2017 to receive a confirmation.

For more information on how to attend the Business Conference on New Technologies on 21 (Tuesday) and 22 Wednesday) November 2017 at Ramada Resort, you can contact VCCI Reception by email [email protected] or by phone 27543 or mobile phone 7123 967.

 

A new era for young entrepreneurs in Vanuatu

 A Strategic and Operational plan for 2017-2020 was launched by the Vanuatu Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) on 3rd November 2017.

In launching the plan, Honorable Seule Simon, the Minister of Youth, said that he was very pleased with this initiative as it aligned to the policy direction of his ministry and the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP 2016-30). Policy objective 4 under the Economic Pillar of the NSDP relates specifically to entrepreneurship with policy objective 4.5 highlights increase the number of decent, productive employment opportunities, particularly for young women and men and people with disabilities.

Through this strategic plan, YEC’s vision is for all Vanuatu Young Entrepreneurs to be empowered and recognized as equal partners in driving the national economy. “Vanuatu’s future is not only about the youths of tomorrow but taking a step in the lives of youths today, to develop them for the future”, said the acting President of the YEC, Mr Kelvin Salemalo.

YEC was launched on 11th of November 2016, through technical assistance by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Since then, YEC has had a 2 phased developmental approach, leading to this Strategic & Operational Plan. The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) through its General Manager, endorsed the Strategic and Operational Plan through a signing ceremony.

The goals of the YEC strategic and operational plan are:

  1. Increased promotion, awareness and membership registration;
  2. Improved access of support services to members and
  3. An enabling environment for young entrepreneurs is created.

The ILO Senior Employers Specialist, Ms Miaw Tiang Tang, who was part of the strategic planning process said the establishment and operationalization of YEC was part of a regional initiative in the pacific for young entrepreneur to use the platform of the employers’ organization to effect change. “The ILO has now established YEC’s under the employers’ organizations in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Next week, we will focus on Samoa”, she said. She further added that it was great to see the commitment of VCCI and Vanuatu YEC taking a step further with the strategic direction advocating and supporting the young entrepreneurs in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu YEC has a total membership of 50 active members from Vila. In September during International Youth Day celebrations in Malampa, YEC held advocacy and registration sessions in an effort to promote the YEC to other provinces and increase its membership base.

Ms Astrid Boulekone, the General Manager for VCCI said that they were currently developing the next 4 year Decent Work Country (DWCP) with the ILO and will include priorities to further support entrepreneurship in Vanuatu, including the YEC.

The YEC model has now been widely accepted in the Pacific and has been rolled out through partnerships with the Pacific Youth Council (PYC) and the Pacific Community (SPC). This model promotes youth entrepreneurship and at the same instance develops future private sector leaders.

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Launching of VYEC Strategic Plan 2017-2020