Founder of Bruns Export Joseph Brun is calling on the Government to invest in local entrepreneurs in the private sector who according to him, are the backbone of Vanuatu’s economy.
“I would like to see more direct approach from them investing into young businesses like us (Export) because we are the source of generating economy,” Mr. Brun explained.
“The private sectors are the main source of driving the wheel and at the end of the day we should be their main focus because we are the private businesses that generate income and give job opportunities and be involved in agriculture in the future, the direct approach should be more focused with the private sector.”
Mr. Brun has been in the export business for almost 10 years now, building clientele in the European and US markets and from experience. He insinuated that government departments have been known to remain idle when it comes to growth opportunities.
“VT300 million has been approved by the Ministry of Finance for the Agriculture sector and right now no one in the Agriculture is drawing up all that money, that is almost three months ago,” he said.
“The fund must be utilized otherwise ships are going to sink, that’s definitely going to happen, a lot of people closing doors, nothing is happening, the funding is stuck, it has to be released.”
According to the owner of Bruns Export, Trades and Agriculture department have a big role to play in aiding the local businesses who have consistently contributed to the economy.
“Right now, the country is going through a lot of tough times and it is hard to make decisions as it stands but the government’s priorities and industries, especially Trades and Agriculture to be more focused to all the private sectors who have been consistent in contributing to the economy at a rural level to try and acknowledge them and whatever processes they need to better their standards or infrastructures,” he said.
Director of Trades and Industry Jimmy Rantes commented on the VT300 million that was supposedly released by the Ministry of Finance.
“I am aware of the Council of Ministers decision but there’s no dispersal of the fund yet, it has to go through the appropriations and it should be ready by 2021.”
Director Rantes added that Mr. Brun was supported by the government and claims Mr. Bruns is one of the most privileged private sector members in the country.
“He got funding from the government and has been supported with over VT2 million, he’s got the support of the government and is privileged than other private sector members in this country.”
Taking one last jab at the VT300 million, Director Rantes also noted that Mr. Brun was referring to a budget that was not yet appropriated in Parliament at the time.
Since Mr. Brun name-dropped the Agricultural sector, Director of Agriculture Antoine Ravo also weighed in by stating that his department has been active in the production output of the Agricultural sector.
“For production side we have done everything, for kava strategy we have done improvements and we have reached 53% of the GDP so that’s a big improvement with the kava production.
“We are not stagnant, we are all very vocal in supporting local ni-Vans and in the private sector,” Director Ravo answered.
Both Directors have confirmed that the funds meant for the Agricultural sector has to go through a rigorous process before it can be accessed next year.