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ADB Port Vila Integrated Urban Improvements Project meet Businesses at VCCI Monday 15 October 2018, Understanding Risk Finance Pacific Forum 16 to 19 October and Other News.

ADB Port Vila Integrated Urban Improvements Project meet Businesses at VCCI Monday 15 October 2018

 

The Social and Safeguards specialists for the ABD Port Vila Integrated Urban Improvement project, Ms Penny Dutton will meet the VCCI, Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee (VBRC), and interested businesses next week on Monday 15 October, 10 AM – 11:30 AM at the VCCI premises.

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Understanding Risk Finance Pacific Forum 16 to 19 October 2018 in Port Vila

This is a reminder that you are invited to the upcoming Understanding Risk Finance Pacific forum which is co-hosted by the World Bank and Ministry of Finance and Economic Management of Vanuatu.

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Brief outcomes on Vanuatu Greenpreneurs Week to cultivate Local Green Businesses

 

Greenpreneurs learn about organizations providing services to small business at the opening reception and expo

Participants and mentors at the Jumpstart your Green Business Workshop

Budding entrepreneurs and experienced sustainable business owners gathered in Port Vila for Vanuatu Greenpreneurs week from 25 to 26 September 2018 at Warwick Le Lagon. Jointly organized by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE), the event was aimed at cultivating development of local businesses that help address environmental or social issues as a core part of their business model.

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Vanuatu Terminal Services (VTS) – Organizing Customer Services To Meet Customers Expectation Training

Organised Customers Services to meet VTS demand

Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industries (VCCI) through its Business Development Services (BDS) Unit have just completed a competency based Customer Services Training to the Vanuatu Terminal Services (VTS) Officers.

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Private Sector Workshop 8 October 2018 followed by VIPA Consultation 11 October 2018 on National Investment Bill and Other News

Private Sector Workshop 8 October 2018 followed by VIPA Consultation 11 October 2018 on National Investment Bill

 

This is a reminder notice in regards to the VIPA Consultation meeting with the Private Sector on the National Investment Bill which was published last week.

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Reminder Business Capability Building Workshop of Pacific Path to Market
16 October 2018

 

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce wishes to remind and invite the interested businesses who are not yet registered and wishing to attend this workshop to register now, as we still have space.

Pacific Trade and Invest (New Zealand) in partnership with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be conducting a free one-day workshop to assist business owners to be successful in Vanuatu and in the future to be able to enter the export market.

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Powerful small businesses — big impact
Being the best we can be – this articles is looking at how we get the biggest impact from our small business – by Chris Elphick Partner in Breadfruit Consulting

This series of articles is looking at how we get the biggest impact from our small businesses.

No business is too small to plan. In many ways small businesses need more planning than larger ones because everything has to be done by very few people.

To start planning try to visualise a very large, wide river. The nearside of the river is where you are now. That is your starting point. The far bank of the river is your destination – that is where you are heading. Getting across the river from where your current position is to where you are heading is why you need the plan. Imagine setting off on a long journey without a map – you might get to your destination, but it might take longer and you might miss lots of interesting diversions along the way.

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Succeeding in tourism – A series of practical articles by Chris Elphick, Breadfruit Consulting, aimed at tourism SMEs and other news.

Succeeding in tourism – A series of practical articles by Chris Elphick, Breadfruit Consulting, aimed at tourism SMEs.
Article seven – Tourism, a great opportunity for small businesses.

 

Over the last few weeks I have been focussing on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses working in the tourism industry.

This is the last article in this short series and I want to focus on the economic opportunities offered to small businesses by the tourism sector.

At the moment we have no reason to believe that people will stop travelling. All the evidence points to more and more people coming to the Pacific and particularly wanting to visit out-of-the way places and have more genuine cultural experiences. How long this will continue for no-one knows. The impact of climate change is more than likely to have a devastating effect on the communities that tourists want to visit.

 

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Powerful small businesses – Big impact – Being the best we can be

 

“If you think small things don’t make a difference, try going to bed with a mosquito” Anita Roddick, founder Body Shop International.

This series of articles is looking at how we get the biggest impact from our small businesses.

Whether we employ 2 people, 20 people, 200 people or even 2 thousand people we need to be concerned with the same issues. We need to plan and prioritise, we need goals, we need to make things or provide services that people want at a price they can afford, we need to work with others, Whatever our business size we all want the same things – we want to make a profit to fund the things that are important to us.

Firstly, we must start thinking big – be bold and courageous – visualise yourself running your business in five years’ time and what it could be like. Share ideas with friends; brainstorm together; imagine what the future could look like. Make sure you write everything down, draw pictures, be creative, dare to dream.

Don’t worry about what other people say – think positive and do your best to eliminate negative thoughts.

 

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Vanuatu Greenpreneurs Week 25 to 27 September 2018 Le Lagon Resort and Succeeding in Tourism – Article six – Employing friends and family

Vanuatu GREENpreneurs Week 25 to 27 September 2018 Le Lagon Resort

 

Passionate about an environmental or social issue? Committed to being part of the solution though creating sustainable businesses that contribute to a cleaner, greener and more prosperous Pacific?
Apply now before Friday 21 September 2018 to register and join us at one or both trainings offered during the week!
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Succeeding in tourism

A series of practical articles by Chris Elphick, Breadfruit Consulting, aimed at tourism SMEs. Article six – employing friends and family

 

Over the last few weeks I have been focussing on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses working in the tourism industry.

Tourism is an ideal industry for groups of friends or families or villages & communities to get into together. Many families, all over the Pacific, operate small scale accommodation or tours or special events. There is nothing better than working alongside our friends and our sons and daughters, our uncles and aunts, our parents or distant relatives. We can have fun together, we already know each other, we assume we are all on the same wave length.

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Vanuatu OECD Global Forum Peer Review – Second Round of Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) Review and Other News.

 

Vanuatu OECD Global Forum Peer Review – Second Round of Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) Review

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Management requests the VCCI participation in the OECD Global Forum Peer Review on exchange of information on request (EOIR) for Vanuatu.

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Launching of National Industrial Development Strategy Monday 3 September 2018

The Department of Industry wishes to announce the Launching of National Industrial Development Strategy 2018 – 2022 which will be held on 3rd September 2018 at 1pm at National Convention center.

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Concern of Local Building Industry over unequal tax exemptions

 Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has been following up with the relevant public authorities of Vanuatu on the unequal tax exemptions impacting the local building industry.

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Succeeding in tourism article four – making sure tourism and culture can co-exist

Over the next few weeks I will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses working in the tourism industry.

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NCDs, climate change, security effects on Pacific private sector discussed, Nutrition education needed to reduce NCDs in Vanuatu and other news

NCDs, climate change, security effects on Pacific private sector discussed

The annual Pacific Island Forum Secretariat-led Private Sector Dialogue Preparatory Meeting was held last week in Auckland. The meeting discussed actions the private sector needs to take in the Pacific region to challenge climate change, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) and other relevant issues.
The preparatory meeting is held annually ahead of the annual Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting, where Pacific Island leaders consider the recommendations from the preparatory meeting
.

private-sector-dialogue-preparatory-meeting-in-auckland

Dr Viliami Puloka (right) with Carolyn Ernst of Vanuatu

dr-viliami-puloka-with-carolyn-drnst-of-vanuatu

The Private Sector Dialogue Preparatory Meeting in Auckland.

 

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Nutrition education needed to reduce NCDs in Vanuatu

Education on nutrition is one way of addressing the problem of non-communicable diseases, says Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce member Carolyn Ernst. Ms Ernst was invited to attend the Private Sector Dialogue Preparatory Meeting in Auckland from 6-8 August.

carolyn-ernst-womens-group-councillor

Carolyn Ernst, Women’s Group Councillor, VCCI Council at Pacific Wave Forum 2018

 

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Pablik apdeit long saed blong 11 European Divelopmen Fand Vanuatu Valiu Jen Program

Tufala Ministri we oli implimentem 11 European Divelopmen Fand Vanuatu Valiu Jen Program (11 EDF), Ministri blong Agrikalja, Laevstok, Forestri, Fisheris mo Baeosekiuriti (MALFFB), mo Ministri blong Turisim, Tred, Komes mo Ni-Vanuatu Bisnis (MTTCNVB), mo Ofis blong Praem MInista (PMO), i wantem givim apdeit ia long saed blong 11 EDF

 

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Public update regarding the 11th European Development Fund’s Vanuatu Value Chain Programme

The two implementing Ministries of the 11th European Development Fund’s Vanuatu Value Chain Programme (11th EDF), the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB), and the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB), and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), wish to give the following update concerning 11th EDF.
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Mise à jour pour le public du Programme vanuatais Chaîne de valeur du 11ème volet du Fonds européen de développement

Les deux ministères de mise en oeuvre du Programme vanuatais Chaîne de valeur du 11ème volet du Fonds européen de développement (11ème FED), à savoir le ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Élevage, de la Sylviculture, des Pêches et de la Biosécurité (MAESPB) et le ministère du Tourisme, du Commerce et des Entreprises vanuataises (MTCEV), ensemble avec le Bureau du Premier ministre (BPM), tiennent à présenter les mises à jour suivantes sur le 11ème FED.

 

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Cash Transfer Partnerships Private Sector and Humanitarian Community OXFAM – Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee

The Cash Transfer Workshop organized by Oxfam in Vanuatu, in partnership with the Vanuatu Business Resilience committee (VBRC), is postponed to 29 August 2018 at Ramada Hotel from 8am – 12pm, with lunch provided. Our apologies for this change of date.

 

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Promote Business Opportunities in Pacific Hub link

The Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand, in Auckland, offers to businesses the opportunity to promote their new business opportunities through their pacific hub link

www.pacifichub.co.nz

They have about 8,000 subscribers to look at your business opportunities and the Trade Offices in Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo and Geneva and much more.

Take advantage of this Free of Charge investment promotion that can attract potential investors worldwide.

For more information please contact, Manuel Valdez, Chief Investment Officer, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand, Phone (64 9)  529 5165, Fax (64 9) 523 1284, Website www.pacifictradeinvest.com

A Collective Effort, Public Update regarding the 11th European Development Fund Vanuatu Value Chain Programme and Other News.

A Collective Effort

Our Pacific Wave Forum held in Auckland, New Zealand, from 6 to 8 August 2018, was a success and it would not have been possible without the Pacific Cooperation Foundation team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the programme ran seamlessly.

collective-effort

Participants at Pacific Wave Forum 2018

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Public Update regarding the 11th European Development Fund Vanuatu Value Chain Programme

This is to inform you of the two implementing Ministries of the European Development Fund 11’s Vanuatu Value Chain Programme (EDF 11), the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALFFB), and the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB), and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), wish to provide an update on EDF 11.   Please click the links below to view and download the followings:- EDF 11 Public Update – Bislama EDF 11 Public Update – English EDF 11 Public Update – French

 

IPDS new charges as of 9 July 2018

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) wish to inform its members on the new charges of Ifira Port Development Services (IPDS).

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Cash Transfer Partnerships Private Sector and Humanitarian Community OXFAM – Vanuatu Business Resilience Committee

The Cash Transfer Workshop organized by Oxfam in Vanuatu, in partnership with the Vanuatu Business Resilience committee (VBRC), is postponed to 29 August 2018 at Ramada Hotel from 8am – 12pm, with lunch provided. Our apologies for this change of date.

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A Regional Forum on Climate and Disaster Risk Finance for Pacific Island Countries in Port Vila from 16-19 October 2018

On October 16-19, 2018 policy-makers and experts from Pacific Islands and around the world will gather in Port Vila, Vanuatu for the Understanding Risk Finance (URf) Pacific forum, bringing together policymakers, financial risk managers, and development partners to strengthen regional collaboration on climate and disaster risk finance. Please click here to view and download Understanding Risk Finance  Pacific Overview and Preliminary Agenda

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AVL Monthly Stakeholder Stats Update

Airports Vanuatu Ltd prepares a monthly update to stakeholders, reporting past statistical performance and future seat capacity forecasts for Bauerfield International Airport (VLI).  The purpose of the update is to enable stakeholders to be informed and have insights into the airport’s operating statistics.

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Cash Transfer Workshop for Businesses Postponed to 29 August 2018, Zero carbon emission can be achieved with solid foundation: FCEF and Other News.

Cash Transfer Workshop for Businesses Postponed to 29 August 2018

The Cash Transfer Workshop organize by Oxfam in Vanuatu, in partnership with the Vanuatu Business Resilience committee (VBRC), is postponed to 29 August 2018 at Ramada Hotel from 8am – 12pm, with lunch provided.

 More information about the Cash Transfer workshop will be provided to businesses in the next few days. 

Your business operates in the following sectors: 

Financial/Cash Delivery whom will be

the Banking Institutions, Money transfer Operators and Mobile services Providers and

Supply-side Goods and Services whom will be the Transport and Logistics Providers, Hardware and Agriculture Suppliers and Wholesale and Retail Suppliers for Food/Grocery. 

You are invited to confirm your attendance.

Business will be consulted on topics such as financial delivery channels, market presence and availability of supply-side services critical for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the form of cash or vouchers. 

For businesses who wish to attend the Cash Transfer workshop, you can confirm your attendance by Tuesday 28 August 2018 by email to [email protected] or contact VCCI office on 27543 / 7123967.

For more information on the Cash Transfer workshop, you can contact Mrs Sandra Hart, Pacific Cash & Livelihoods Advisor, Oxfam, Vanuatu, by email [email protected] or phone 534 7911.

 

Zero carbon emission can be achieved with solid foundation: FCEF

Vilimaina Naqelevuki, Fiji Times, 26 July 2018

As Pacific men and women, we know what we’re up against, we’ve all endured the devastating impacts of cyclones, rising seas and other climate impacts.

This was stressed by the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the Global Employers Climate Action Forum organised by the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation on 25 July 2018 at the Holiday Inn, Suva.

He said the eyes of the world were on the Pacific as the Global Employers Climate Action Forum began; and that “government, businesses and citizens are looking to us because we our people and our economies are on the front lines of climate change”.

FCEF chief executive Nesbitt Hazelman said the forum focused “on how we can achieve net zero carbon emissions and build resilience”.

“As we mentioned from the start, we can only achieve this if there is a solid foundation and partnership between the Government, us the private sector, the development partners, civil society organisation and the communities,” Mr Hazelman said.

He said the outcomes of the forum laid the pathway for the private sector to accelerate climate action and also to achieve the targets set for the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry was represented at the Global Employers Climate Action Forum in Suva, Fiji, by Mr Shaun Gilchrist, CEO of Azure Pure Water, who is the Manufacturing Councillor of VCCI.

 

Succeeding in tourism

A series of practical articles by Chris Elphick, Breadfruit Consulting, aimed at tourism SMEs.

Article one – an introduction

Over the next few weeks I will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses working in the tourism industry.

Across the Pacific tourism has been identified as a major industry for economic development and resources are provided by a wide range of organisations. This focus on tourism obviously provides enormous opportunities to rural and urban communities alike but will it be possible for everyone to access those opportunities?  Will there be an equal playing field? Will tourism reap the rewards for small rural businesses in remote parts of the Pacific? How will small tourism businesses be able to compete with their larger and probably better resourced neighbours? How will locally run tourism businesses be able to compete with expat run and resourced operations?

During this series I will be exploring what tourists want and how this matches up to what we provide; how we meet and exceed expectations and send tourists home determined to come back bringing all their friends; how the Pacific can create a  reputation for exceptional and consistently high service; how we can develop a vibrant tourism industry without damaging our local cultures; how tourism can economically benefit rural areas; how tourism can provide jobs and careers for our young people; what needs to happen to support a sustainable local tourism industry; what are we really selling to visitors and how we make sure they take home unforgettable memories.

We are lucky in the Pacific to live in some of the most beautiful countries in the world – countries that people do want to visit and experience.  Many visitors want to understand our culture, meet local people, get a taste of Pacific life.  They want to experience the things that the Pacific offers that are not available elsewhere

Tourism is certainly an industry full of opportunities.  This short series of articles looks at how small tourism businesses can make the most of these opportunities and turn them to their advantage.  Tourists will not just turn up!  And they certainly will not return if they do not have the experience of a lifetime!

A few months go I ran a workshop for local tourism providers – of the 40 people present only two had ever been tourists and travelled outside their country. 38 people were trying to deliver products and services to people they knew nothing about – they had been encouraged by a range of organisations to develop small scale accommodation or tours but had received little or no realistic help or guidance on how best to do this.

I hope this series will help small scale tourism operators to become more effective and profitable and therefore develop a sustainable industry offering jobs and careers to local people while providing stunning experiences to visitors from all over the world.  Tourism has the potential to transform the economy of Pacific countries, but it also has the potential to deepen the divide between the haves and the have nots.  No Pacific country can afford for this to happen.

Tourism is not an easy industry to succeed in. Products and services have to live up to expectations; visitors have to come; visitors have to be looked after; problems have to be solved before they get out of hand.  It is essentially a people industry where people from different cultures come into close contact with each other for short periods of time.  Social media means that people can broadcast their experiences to the world almost immediately after they have had them – good and bad!

If you have any tourism issues you would like me to cover during this series, please contact me.

Coming next, what do tourists want and how do we make sure they get what they want? 

Chris Elphick is Partner in Breadfruit Consulting, 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 and are involved with tourism operators snd their businesses in several Pacific countries.

Breadfruit Consulting have partnered with Fiji Entrepreneur to develop mentoring services for new and young entrepreneurs.

If you have an issue or query related to this article, please contact Chris at [email protected] or text to +6785500556.

 

Succeeding in tourism

A series of practical articles by Chris Elphick, Breadfruit Consulting, aimed at tourism SMEs.

Article twounderstanding our visitors

Over the next few weeks I will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses working in the tourism industry.

Across the Pacific tourism has been identified as a major industry for economic development and resources are provided by a wide range of organisations. This focus on tourism obviously provides enormous opportunities to rural and urban communities alike but will it be possible for everyone to access those opportunities?  Will there be an equal playing field? Will tourism reap the rewards for small rural businesses in remote parts of the Pacific? How will small tourism businesses be able to compete with their larger and probably better resourced neighbours? How will locally run tourism businesses be able to compete with expat run and resourced operations?

Understanding who tourists are, what they want from us and making sure they get what they want, and more, is vital to any successful tourism business.  The challenge for many small operators in the Pacific is the lack of tourism experience where we may not have travelled outside of our own area let alone our own country.

If possible going on a short break to another country to experience being a tourist for a few days is ideal.  This way you will get to experience first-hand what some of the tourists who visit you do.

First time visitors to the Pacific who have only information from friends or the web to go on may well have unrealistic expectations.  They may try to do too much in too short a time and get disappointed; they may not think that it rains here; they may not be used to power going off at night or water shortages.  When people get disappointed they get upset and often angry and lose any sense of proportion.

Number one essential is to make sure that when you meet your visitors for the first time blow them away with your interest in them. Ask them questions; give them a fresh coconut and some nice fresh local fruit; if they are hungry feed them even if the kitchen is closed! If you know what nationality they are try and learn a couple of simple greetings in their language; manage peoples’ expectations from the beginning by giving them good information; think ahead and anticipate anything that could go wrong and, above all, focus on the friendliness and beauty of the Pacific.

We must train our staff to be problem solvers, not problem avoiders!  No-one wants to hear ‘The boss is not here today’! if someone has a problem, no matter how small, then it has to be solved to the benefit of the visitor immediately.  It doesn’t matter if it is not a problem for the business or individual member of staff.

Anyone in the tourism business takes on a duty of care for visitors – look after them; treat them as special guests; think ahead and anticipate any concerns they might have; thank them for coming and for spending their money with you.  Try and put yourself in their shoes – imagine you are visiting a city in India for the first time. How might you feel? You are likely to be nervous, apprehensive, maybe a little frightened, curious – you will need a friend.

If you are running a small tourism business, or even a larger one, go out of your way to make friends with the visitors – stop what you are doing and focus on them – after all they pay your bills!

Finally, it is likely that most people who have travelled all the way to the Pacific to stay on a secluded island in a small resort are looking for an experience of a lifetime – make sure you give it to them!!  Your accommodation may not be as comfortable or as large as some in other parts of the world – but make it authentic and genuine.  Serve local food with pride.  Meet needs of visitors before they become a problem.  Fill their days with surprises.

If you have any tourism issues you would like me to cover during this series, please contact me.

Coming next, creating a reputation in the Pacific for exceptional and consistently high service. 

Chris Elphick is Partner in Breadfruit Consulting, 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 and are involved with tourism operators and their businesses in several Pacific countries.

Breadfruit Consulting have partnered with Fiji Entrepreneur to develop mentoring services for new and young entrepreneurs.

If you have an issue or query related to this article, please contact Chris at [email protected] or text to +6785500556.

Counting your chickens – XERO makes it easy, Invitation call on Private Sector Services Provider Capacity Assessment workshop – 9th August 2018 at Ramada Hotel and other News.

 

Counting your chickens – XERO makes it easy

 

Mathieu Laurent is an impressive, energetic young entrepreneur who is achieving big things in Vanuatu’s burgeoning poultry industry. In the space of three years, since he bought Vanuatu Poultry, the 24 year old has expanded the business ten-fold and has become Vanuatu’s largest eggs and chicken meat producer, employing over 50 people. Today Vanuatu Poultry is producing 11,000 eggs daily to Vanuatu’s major supermarkets, and delivering 2,500 fresh chickens three times a week to local butcheries, restaurants and resorts.

Naturally, that’s a lot of eggs and chickens to account for. To modernize this growing business, Mathieu required help to track his businesses growth and manage the day to day challenges. AJC, one of Vanuatu’s leading finance and accounting companies, and Xero, the world’s best accounting software, partnered with Business Link Pacific to boost Vanuatu Poultry’s accounting systems.

“I learnt everything on the go and I had no idea about accounting. I inherited another accounting package and was using it for eight months but it became a big mess. I knew I needed help because we were making more and more sales and I had no clue which customers were paying. I was producing stuff but money was not coming in. So I was like “I need some help!” and I started working with AJC”, explains Mathieu.

 

Within four months of working with AJC, Vanuatu Poultry was able to clear a massive amount of outstanding debts and reconcile their books for the first time. Their bank was especially impressed with their quick transformation. For Mathieu, Xero’s initial positive impact was empowering.

“Now, I know exactly how much money is in the bank, who needs to be paid, who needs to pay us and all in real time. This is an incredible difference. Before we would get caught out with cash flows and cheque payments. Now, I can strategically plan my budgets, cash flow and expenditure.”

Forensic accounting

Xero is renowned for practical troubleshooting. In Vanuatu Poultry’s case it has helped solve a few accounting mysteries/problems by providing the necessary evidence to improve productivity.

“AJC set up a Xero dashboard, so now I can easily monitor expenditure. For exam  ple I could see my electricity costs were increasing. At first I was thinking it was faulty lights but then I realized the workers were working too slow, so we were able to fix this. It’s also made a big difference to tracking and managing fuel costs.”

“My customised Xero dashboard gives me a snapshot of everything. I like to track my major customers and use them as a benchmark to compare profit and loss.”

“I am now thinking of using Vend, a cloud-based point of sale software to manage stock feed because it’s quite complicated to do manually – we ended up having to do monthly stock takes. Then it will only take a few clicks to figure out what to order.”

Simple, Xero features can make a big difference to a business’s efficiency. The instant email invoicing feature has markedly improved the Vanuatu Poultry’s cash flow. Previously, the company’s invoices were getting lost with deliveries and payments delayed. Using Xero, invoices are emailed as a “link”, so now it’s obvious when they are received and “opened” by the customer.

Their next step is to systematically enter all company assets into Xero with AJC’s assistance so they have an accurate profit and loss data. The company’s payroll will also be linked through internet banking.

For Mathieu working with AJC and using Xero has meant less time in the office “on the books,” and more time on the factory’s floor supervising his team and planning the next move in building his fast growing chicken empire.

“If you want your business to grow you need to work with professional people. Working with them you win time. Instead of you making the mistake and learning from your mistake, they prevent you making it in the first place.”

“AJC’s professional advice has meant I can have confidence in the future. Together we are monitoring our progress, doing business forecasting and managing VAT compliance.”

“When I took on this business, it was little bit hard because I was alone and didn’t know how to manage this alone. Lots can go wrong with growing chickens. It’s quite scientific. I worked it out and one year later I increased the company by five times. By 2020 the meat chickens will double. So, if you believe in yourself and then you work hard, it’s not impossible.”

 

Business Link Pacific with the Vanuatu accounting firms AJC, Barrett and Partners and vSolutions is offering eligible small and medium sized businesses a free 12-month subscription to Xero accounting software, a cloud-based accounting system that is changing the way small businesses’ approach their accounting.

 

Vanuatu small and medium sized businesses interested in accessing the Xero 12 months subscription promotion can contact Kesha Licht at VCCI at [email protected] or phone 27543 Ext 19 or mobile 555 5347 or contact direct AJC or Barrett and Partners or vSolutions.

 

-ENDS 837 words-

 

mathieulaurentvanuatu-poultryvanuatu-poultry3

                           Mathieu Laurent – Vanuatu Poultry

Invitation call on Private Sector Services Provider Capacity Assessment workshop – 9th August 2018 at Ramada Hotel

 

Oxfam, in partnership with the Vanuatu Business Resilience committee, is pleased to invite interested businesses and entities in the private sector to a workshop introducing the Private Sector Service Provider Capacity Assessment, a component of Oxfam’s Vanuatu Cash Transfer Feasibility Study, which has been ongoing nation-wide since March, and is scheduled for completion in September 2018.

An intro/kick-off workshop will be held on August 9th, 2018 at Ramada Hotel from 8am – 12pm, with lunch provided.  Please confirm your attendance before 7th August by return email at [email protected] or contact VCCI office on 27543.

Please click here to view and download Invite Oxfam Private Sector Assessment Information Note.

FCEF Hosts Global Employers Forum on Climate Action

FCEF News 23 Jul 2018

 

Fiji’s national private sector and employers’ organisation, the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) officially announced its hosting of the Global Employers Climate Action Forum. The announcement was made by FCEF President, Mr Sandeep Chauhan and also present was the COP23 staff and other senior executives from the private sector.

In his announcement, Mr Chauhan said, “FCEF is hosting a one day Global Employers Climate Action Forum on 25 July 2018 at the Holiday Inn, Suva, Fiji. Participants from international, regional organisations and the Private Sector have been invited to attend and share lessons learned and experiences on their active commitment in accelerating climate action to support the Paris Agreement and the operation of the “Fiji Declaration on Resilient Businesses and Communities” which was endorsed at Bon, Germany.”

The announcement was made at the My Suva Park as senior executives and partners from various bodies and government ministries supporting the forum, planted trees in a bid to help offset the carbon footprint of those travelling in from the outside Fiji to attend the Global Employers Climate Action Forum.

The Executive Director for COP23, Mr John Connor was also the Launch and tree planting exercise, in his remarks Mr Connor mentioned that the tree planting initiative was well thought and planned considering the intent of the work towards climate action. He also congratulated the work of the FCEF and the private sector for the positive partnerships that have been fostered with government in supporting the objectives of COP23.

The Global Employers Climate Action Forum (GECAF) will also provide a platform for representatives from the private sector in Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu to highlight areas of concern and as mentioned by the FCEF President Sandeep Chauhan, “The outcomes of the forum will be presented at the Climate Action Pacific Partnerships (CAPP) Meeting on Thursday 26 July. Moreover, these outcomes will be presented at any Global Meeting and the UN Negotiations Conference as our input and the voice of the Private Sector will be heard so that the challenges we are facing are heard and considered.”

The Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation is hosting this event in collaboration with ANZ,  Vodafone, Global Green Growth Institute, Pacific Islands Development Forum, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, COP23 Secretariat, Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, International Labour Organisation, Ministry of Industry Trade and Tourism, Holiday Inn, US AID, Pacific Climate Ready, Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Fiji Times.

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry was represented at the Global Employers Climate Action Forum in Suva, Fiji, by Mr Shaun Gilchrist, CEO of Azure Pure Water, who is the Manufacturing Councillor of VCCI.

Vanuatu National Provident Fund Report Writing Training

 

Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce (VCCI) through its Business Development Services Unit have recently spent a six (6) days delivering report writing training to the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) staffs.

According to VNPF 2018 – 2022 Strategic Framework, there has been a very strong emphasis on the Organization’s annual performance to be reported.  The VNPF Act has mandated the Board to submit through the Minister responsible for Finance an Annual Report within four (4) months at the end of every financial year to the Government of Vanuatu. Therefore, effective reporting is essential.

VNPF has undertaken a detailed training needs assessment and realized that its employee’s key organizational training need is report writing.

The training was very interactive and many topics were discussed. Key topics discussed were in reference to VNPF’s current reporting requirements with strong emphasis on the importance and benefits of reporting.

There were a total of 27 participants for this training. The training was dispersed into two groups, the first group commenced on the 3rd and ended on the 5th of July 2018 and the second group started on the 9th and ended on the 11th of July 2018. All participants have received their statement of completion right after they have completed their training.

Positive feedbacks were provided by the participants at the end of the training. All participants left the training satisfied with their statement of completion award and high mentality to enforce improvement in their report writing skills within different work division in VNPF.

Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce has a very proactive Business Development Services Unit that is always available to help business houses in terms of trainings in all areas. Please feel free to contact the office on +678 27543/ 7123967 or Email: [email protected]

You can also access information on Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) website at www.vcci.com

vnpf-report-writing-training-1

VNPF Reporting Writing training 1

vnpf-report-writing-training-2

VNPF Reporting Writing training 2

VCCI carries the concern of business over unequal tax exemptions, Solomon Islands Government & Business 40 Years on and Other News

 

 

VCCI carries the concern of business over unequal tax exemptions

 

There is growing concern in the country that tax exemptions being granted to large construction companies and not to local entities is creating an unfair tendering process for local builders and the infrastructure sector.

It has been noted that many of these infrastructure and building works are being funded by loans to the country and are not aid or grant funded yet the implementing company is being awarded almost all the major construction projects in Vanuatu tax free.

Local builders under the Vanuatu Builders and Allied Industries Association (VANBAIA) have asked the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) and Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) the following questions

1: Who approved CCECC for VIPA and Business Licence for Construction?

2: Construction is a Reserved Occupation, so why was this approved, and who in Government approved it?

3: CCECC have VAT exemptions with many stores and suppliers around town, so how does this create a level playing field for local builders, who have no such exemptions?

4: Local builders cannot go and buy their tools and building materials etc., VAT free, for construction projects, so why does CCECC get an exemption when doing private projects?

This issue was raised on Social Media more than a week ago and many people agreed with/and support the local builders. The members of the Vanuatu Building and Allied Industries Association (VANBAIA), local builders, and companies bidding for infrastructure work have now asked the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) for assistance in getting answers to the questions above.

Accordingly, VCCI is asking VIPA, Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC), Customs Department, Central Tender Board (CTB), Vanuatu Project Management Unit (VPMU), the Ministry of Tourism Trade Industry and Ni Vanuatu Business, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Education, to provide some answers to the questions above. The answers need to include a way forward, with Government policy addressing the development and growth of Vanuatu with the engagement of local builders in the construction and infrastructure industry to take effect now.

 

Solomon Islands Government & Business 40 Years on

 

By Jay Bartlett, Chairman Solomon Islands CCI, Address Delivered at PM’s Breakfast on 27 June 2018. Solomon Star.

It’s a great pleasure to welcome you all to our first ever Prime Minister’s Breakfast and to say a few brief remarks.

I’d like to firstly welcome our Prime Minister Rick Hou – thank you for availing some time from your busy schedule to be with us here today.

I believe this is your first official engagement with SICCI since meeting with our CEO in December last year and we are indeed very grateful to be hosting you here this morning.

Welcome to members of our Diplomatic core –regional Heads of Missions from Australia, New Zealand & the United Kingdom.

And ours SIG Government Officials – we had a great engagement with a good number of our PS’s last week at our LDC Graduation breakfast and I’d like  to welcome you back here today especially the members of the Advisory Committee which is Chaired by the PS of Commerce – Riley Misipitu.

To members of the Chamber, Media and my fellow Solomon Islanders a very warm welcome to you all this morning.

MoU in Action

On the eve of our 40th Independence I think it’s a healthy sign of our nation and economy’s maturity that we as Government and Business are able to debate and better appreciate the challenges and opportunities we face as a nation.

The backdrop of our independence celebrations is redirecting at 40 and the theme for today’s breakfast is government & business 40 years on.

We are all too familiar with the challenges faced on a country that is geographically dispersed, socially diverse, economically vulnerable with a very young democracy.

Despite this we enjoy a growing economy and debt levels are low by international standards and we also enjoy a stable security environment.

Almost a year ago on the 6th on July the Solomon Islands Government signed a MoU with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce- to create an engagement platform.

Today’s event is an initiative of the Advisory Committee to cultivate productive relationships with key decision makers as our relationship institutionally does remain underdeveloped.

This is the MoU in action ladies & Gentlemen.

It would be great if events such as this can be hosted annually along with other business excellence Awards.

It is advantageous to both Government & Business that we must continue to have robust discussions on our nation’s state of affairs 40 years on.

Successive Solomon Islands governments have recognized the important role the private sector has in supporting economic growth.

The Solomon Islands National Development Strategy 2016-2035 acknowledges that ‘private sector-led economic growth needs to be encouraged and facilitated.’

However, government policies are not always consistent with stated government objectives. For example, actual infrastructure spending is not always directed to projects of maximum benefit to the private sector. The mismatch remains a critical challenge requiring a fundamental shift in how government and the private sector relate and must be a key focus of ingoing Conversations at policy and operational levels.

This MoU implemented well, is a good example of robust discussions graduating from rhetoric to a structured process of dialogue the maybe used as reference for key business & policy strategic imperatives in the important discussions of redirection.

The MoU framework will also allow us to be better joined up with broader government processes- Including the budget process.

I’d hope to see an establishment of an annual business – government budget meeting where business could present government with our priorities early in the budget cycle.

Outside of our MoU there are few institutional mechanisms that link the private sector and Government.

Traditionally our engagement has been sporadic and this formalized arrangement is vital a partnership that both sides must continue to capitalize on.

Success of such a mechanism requires proactive participation and action from both government and the private sector in leading, driving and owning the process to achieve better outcomes.

A recently signed partnership agreement between SICCI and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force will further improve mutual understanding and identify opportunities for collaboration.

A stable, secure prosperous Solomon Islands is in all our interests.

Development Progress

Our Businesses still face a broad number of institutional constraints; poor infrastructure, expensive utilities, cumbersome tax rates, the high cost of finance and unskilled labour force are commonly identified challenges which make it difficult for business to grow.

Issues such as corruption or land reform are so important to the business community that, while beyond the capacity of SICCI alone to secure a reform. We are keen to progress discussions.

Addressing land issues needs to be maintained as policy focus.

Investments in our productive Capacity-Schools, hospitals, airports and ports and prioritizing the allocation of resources continues to be a significant challenge.

Ensuring that our investments are focused on capital infrastructure on not on focused consumption.

Current developments of the submarine cable are welcomed developments and we must applaud the Australian Government for taking a lead on this.

We are transitioning from tribalism & provincialism to information & digital age of selfies, Instagram faster than we can imagine.

We must redirect our efforts into transforming into a modern economy that can harness the benefits of technology.

The current Kukum Highway upgrade project and the recent commitments from JICA to upgrade our international airport will improve efficiency in mobility and drastically give a much needed facelift to our capital city.

The first impression of travellers to Solomon Islands is Honiara and we must continue to invest and reinvest to modernize our capital to increase our appeal as a tourist destination.

While our energy costs remain some of the highest in the region progress in reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and energy costs in the development of the Tina Hydro dam & renewable like solar farms & hybrid stations outside of Honiara & the provinces is welcomed by private sector.

Like Solomon Island power, SICCI is also very supportive of this national project, especially if it also translates to a significant reduction in the tariff, apart from the positive environmental considerations.

Solomon power and other stake-holders are undergoing commercial discussions & proper due diligence is undertaken to ensure that the governance process & arrangements are in the best interest of us as consumers over the life of this particular project.

The Hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games is one of those rare opportunities where the eyes on the Pacific will be focused on our country.

Business Participation pre & pro games has many opportunities for the benefit of our local economy.

As mentioned energy, Communication, Transportation are key fundamentals to redirect our economy to improve the investment climate so business can grow to benefit the community.

Beyond the MoU and Investments in infrastructure the fastest way to progress a nation is to enable its people. To advance our education system investments in institutions like our national university will ensure the sizable funds spent on scholarships remain in our economy not transferred to some of our regional economies in the Pacific & Asia.

We must also redirect our attitude and thinking.

Risk

While there is an inherent need to improve our physical infrastructure we also need to continue to focus on institutional governance that can enhance our integrity & accounting – ability.

The much anticipated Anti-Corruption Bill will establish public goodwill & reap economic benefits.

Governance not only exists in the political sphere but I all levels in society-State Owned Enterprises, Financial Institutions, Private Enterprise, Churches, Schools, Sports club and so forth.

As a Chamber we also aspire to promote excellence in corporate governance in the Private Sector and will be hosting an Essentials of Directorship Program to be delivered by Institute of Director New Zealand.

It is aimed at executive & non-executive directors with introduction to international best practice, corporate governance, strategy, finance, risk, corporate law and legislation.

This training is a test case for private sector appeal as it is our ambition to facilitate the establishment of a Solomon Islands institute of Company Directors or SIICD.

This institute can also deliver courses designed for the public sector and so far response has been very encouraging.

Call for action

Our demographics continue to demand that we must identify and accelerate new sources of growth and bring down unemployment.

A recent report by the Ministry of Education highlighted that an alarming high number of school leavers every year is a cause for concern and at the 2017 Annual Report launch the Governor of the central bank stated that”

In order for the country to develop and progress, build buffers and resilience for disasters, the economy needs to grow, on average between 5-7% year on year. The recent Mobilization of the YEC program aimed to support and advocate young entrepreneurs in a small step in addressing a broader national issue and it is only through a partnership with a number of key Ministries that we are able to do so.

Closing

In closing ladies and Gentlemen 40 years of independence is a significant milestone in our democracy that we will be celebrating but, we must also look at our development trajectory at this critical juncture.

Our actions now as the Government, Private Sector, and development people must support inclusive forms of growth.

I stand before you today as the chairman of SICCI AND also as a member of the largest and youngest population in our history.

40 years on – we need to move past rhetoric.

40 years on – we need to turn our potential into realization.

40 years on- we need concrete actions to support the business community

40 years on my generation and the future generations need redirection not just as a theme for our independence anniversary but because our future depends on it.

I look forward the next 40 years of redirection so that these conversations and these constant are retired to the archives of history

Thank you very much and happy independence Solomon Islands.

 

Public and private sector join to get Vanuatu off grey list

 

Vanuatu has been removed from the Non Cooperative and High Risk Jurisdiction List, referred to the grey or black list by international media.

The removal of Vanuatu from the grey list is a story of hard work, cooperation and collaboration between public and private sector institutions, says the Chairman of the Board of the Vanuatu Finance Centre Association.

Martin St-Hilaire said it is a story in which Vanuatu’s effort has resulted in the achievement of the highest level of compliance.

“Hopefully this will serve as an example of what can be achieved when political will (from all MPs, led by the Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and the Finance Minister Gaetan Pikioune) working hand in hand with capable and intelligent public sector officials toward a common goal that is for the greater good of the country,” he said.

He said the Mutual Valuation report that listed Vanuatu as Non-Cooperative and High Risk was issued in September 2015, following an on-site visit in January 2015.

“However, before that official visit, the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering had already issued a public statement about Vanuatu’s non-compliance with International standards in November 2014,” he said.

“It took Vanuatu three-and-a-half years of hard work to lift its game and to meet the international standards and requirements that are in force today.

“First, as Chairman of the Vanuatu Finance Centre Association, I must congratulate the National AML&CTF Coordinating Committee (‘NCC’) for their work and the success achieved.

“We should highlight the significant contribution of Floyd Mera (Vanuatu Financial Intelligence Unit) and Johnson Naviti (Prime Minister’s Office), to the committee and the committee’s success.

“If Vanuatu authorities were to blame for the poor situation in 2015, they are to be congratulated for working hard to rectify the situation that has resulted in Vanuatu returning to the white list.”

Mr St-Hilaire said Vanuatu’s legislation on these subjects had been outdated.

“Vanuatu MPs and public servants have worked together to strengthen the legislation so as to meet international compliance and best practice,” he said.

He said that implementation and execution have been efficiently managed by the relevant Vanuatu institutions – the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Police Force.

But he sounded a warning about the future.

This does not mean Vanuatu will not be under intense scrutiny moving forward; the worldwide trend is transparency, openness, and regular compliance checks,” he said.

“That trend will continue, and dealings with banks and international transactions will not become ‘easier’ from a compliance perspective, ever.

“It may however mean that compliance checks and cross-border transfers will not get significantly more difficult as time goes by.

“The current requirements will stay in force and not become more and more onerous, meaning no more cost increases when it comes to compliance.”

Mr St-Hilaire said it could mean that Vanuatu will attract new foreign direct investment from individuals and corporations that previously viewed Vanuatu as a risky investment environment due to its presence on the grey list.

“This reduced perception of risk could ultimately lead to a reduction in risk premiums, and lower interest rates and transaction fees,” he said.

“Vanuatu must continue to maintain its progress in order to successfully pass the next Mutual Valuation in 2020.”

He said at each valuation, the Financial Action Task Force/African Partnership Forum is setting the bar higher as the world evolves and compliance and regulations are constantly changing.

“I personally hope that the NCC and the institutions involved will keep the momentum going with the support of all MPs, and push our current financial systems further,” he said.

“We should aim for the automation and modernisation of the current data collection systems and associated data analysis.

“Modern technologies and artificial intelligence should be embraced to ensure Vanuatu stays ahead of the compliance requirements and trends in the years to come.

“Funding for this should be provided by OECD countries to help Vanuatu implement this important IT infrastructure, as it is the OECD countries who are the main drivers behind increased compliance and transparency.”