Large-Scale Manufacturing Industry Supported In Vanuatu

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Chiefs favor move, unnamed investor proposes three projects

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Sept. 4, 2013) – A reported 326 chiefs, representing 61,833 people in Vanuatu, are in favour of a large-scale manufacturing industry to be established in the country.

The investor has already been identified and proposes three projects to provide an export industry for Santo. He offers the opportunity for the benefit of Vanuatu and its people in return for an initial catalyst fund for the establishment of a lock-making industry. The catalyst fund is required to initiate the lock-manufacturing business which would see the locks being made exclusively in Vanuatu and being supplied to a global market.

The three projects that could be established in Vanuatu are as follows.

Firstly, there would be the manufacture of high-security lock products; this would employ over 200 people and represent phase one.

Secondly, when this reaches full production, the second project would start. This would involve municipal waste disposal, recycled into reusable by-products and would provide over 120 jobs.

The third project would be building-panel manufacture using by-products from the waste destruction plant.

The low-cost building panels will be used with a unique fast-assembly construction method, to provide low-cost, quality housing units of up to four stories high, to be sold both locally and on the global market. This industry will employ 1,200 people at full production.

This is the first time that the establishment of a major export and manufacturing industry has been proposed in Vanuatu. It is also the first time that a high-value technology contribution, rather than investment cash, has been offered.

The chiefs who strongly support the new industry say it will provide jobs for up to 18,000 ni-Vanuatu men and women and young unemployed people, as proposed by the investor, and could help reduce the current crime-rates in Port Vila and Luganville.

The chiefs have called on the Vanuatu government to support the new industry initiative.

The 326 chiefs from throughout Vanuatu, who claim to represent 61,833 people, said the investor has been seeking government support for the project for some time now, but has had little to no success.

These chiefs have, over the past few months, met with and had positive feedback from many government departments and agencies, but told the Daily Post that what is needed now is actual action from the government in supporting the project so that it can begin.

"Once this large-scale industry project gets off the ground and proves successful, it will encourage other investors with similar industries to invest in Vanuatu," one of the chiefs told the Daily Post.

The chiefs have set up an executive committee that will continue to pursue the initiative with the government.

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