The Nagriamel Political Movement on Santo says it supports the idea of a trade zone, but prefers “Free Trade Zone” as opposed to an “Economic Development Zone”. The political movement also says it does not agree with the government’s current proposed site of Jubilee Farm.
“The Nagriamel Political Movement has always supported the idea of establishing a “Free Trade Zone” on the island of Santo.
“In fact, Free Trade Zone is one of the principle economic idea which the Movement has been advocating ever since Vanuatu became independent in 1980 and we want to see it realized as soon as possible.
“But we are surprised to note that the government goes for Economic Development Zone, instead of “Free Trade Zone,” the Assistant Secretary General of Nagriamel, Steven George, told Daily Post from Santo yesterday.
He added that the political movement does not agree with the current proposed site of Jubilee Farm, as recommended by the government.
“There has not been enough consultations by the national government on this.
“We did receive an invitation for the launching that took place in Luganville on the government’s proposed ‘Economic Development Zone’ but did not attend because they (the government) has already pre-selected the site ahead of launching,” says the Nagriamel political movement SG, Steven George.
The Nagriamel Assistant SG says, the country does not want to see another Port Vila on Santo: “The government wants to encourage more investors to come and invest in Vanuatu, hence on Santo so as to increase revenue for the government.
“We understand the Government intention for more foreign finance to come in as opposed to more money going out. That’s already happening in Vanuatu,” he says.
He went on to add that, the Nagriamel political movement believes strongly that a “Free Trade Zone” is the answer to the country’s economic advancement.
“‘A Free Trade Zone’ has more trade advantages.
“It can be organized around our seaport, international airport and national frontiers,” says the Nagriamel Assistant SG Steven George.
He added that for a Free Trade Zone, the government needs to identify another site to suite the business activities of a “Free Trade Zone”.
“A second dialogue, though may be expensive, between wide range of the Vanuatu community leaders, on the nature of what government intends to carry out with the people of Santo, on the propose site for the project, would be helpful for the future success of the project,” says Steven George.