Solomons Artists Asked To Price Goods Fairly During Festival

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Some artisans allegedly gouging prices for visitors

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 26, 2012) – As the clock ticks towards the start of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) next week in the Solomon Islands, local carvers, artists, and handcraft makers have been reminded about pricing their products.

FOPA chair-lady Doreen Kuper in a statement said pricing of local products is an area which must not be taken advantage of by locals during such festival period.

She expressed concern following reports of some locals raising the price for their products.

Its one important area Ms. Kuper has taken to heart and stressed is how we price our handicrafts and other marketable commodities during the Festival period.

"We need to price our commodities at reasonable price levels, because if we don’t, we will kill off right away any future commercial potential the 11th Festival may have created for this country.

"I am very concerned about reports of people putting up very high mark-ups on their handicrafts and other products when they think that someone trying to buy something from them is from another country.

"This is defeating one of the long term aims of 11th Festival of Arts for Solomon Islands, to use this once in a lifetime opportunity to promote and market our country to the outside world, to showcase our diverse skills and talents and create long term opportunities for ourselves and our country," Ms. Kuper said.

As the country edge close to the day, Ms. Kuper continues with her call to all Solomon Islanders to help make the festival an event that is memorable which will help the country to bring back the once called the "Hapi Isles."

She said this can be achieved by displaying a high degree of tolerance and observe the declaration that the Festival will be alcohol-free, smoke-free, and betel-nut free.

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