A young Ni-Vanuatu politician, Tenkon Williams, says the Vanuatu Government must seriously consider what he terms ‘growing presence’ of Asians, especially Chinese, in doing businesses in the sectors which, he says, should be reserved for indigenous Ni-Vanuatu.
Williams says over the last 20 years, Asians have been dominating businesses in Port Vila in the sectors which he claims should be reserved for indigenous Ni-Vanuatu.
“These Asians are running kava bars, takeaway shops, and are now moving into such business operations as taxis,” Williams claims. He alleged that an Asian is operating a taxi business for executives and Asians. He added that his concerns also extend into what he says ‘more and more mini-skyscraper hotels and motels and large shops alarmingly appearing throughout Port Vila city alleged to be owned by Asians.
“I am happy with the Asians who have been in Vanuatu since the condominium days and even before and doing businesses in the main city of Port Vila. My concern is of the Asians that have been coming into Vanuatu over the last 20 years or so, but are spreading their business wings into local businesses that should be reserved for indigenous Ni-Vanuatu ,” a concern Williams expressed.
He added that he had also noticed a large number of Asians engaged in employment undertakings which should be reserved for local indigenous workers only and questions why the government has granted permits to these Asians.
“Maybe these Asians are low paid workers and work hard and quicker than Ni-Vans but it does not alter the fact that they should not simply come in and be engaged in paid employment and which the Employment Act prohibits them from doing,” Williams stressed.
“I am calling on the government to seriously address these issues because unless the government draws a line somewhere, the Asians will continue to expand everywhere and this is not fair for the Ni-Vanuatu people. The Asians have money and can buy their way into anything while Ni-Vans have land but cannot develop fast because of the money issue,” he claims.
“It is a rising concern which Ni-Vanuatu across the board have but do not want to come forward or air it to the Government. So I speak on behalf of Ni-Vanuatu people across the country,” says Williams.