Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, Jotham Napat, said the Council of Ministers has now approved his policy to establish the new Department of Ni-Vanuatu Business and Development Services to stimulate the sustainable expansion of the private sector.
This comes as small and micro ni-Vanuatu businesses are struggling without the support of a dedicated government department to address their needs and see growth in the sector.
Napat said the Department of Ni-Vanuatu Business, since its inception in 2006 really has not had the funding or resources it needed to be effective.
“Studies were undertaken to develop the department back in 2010 and 2011 but nothing was formalised, as a result we have seen little development in micro, small and medium scale Ni Vanuatu businesses,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
Mr Napat continued that this will not be a new department in name only.
“We will seek funding from the budget to form the new department in 2020, with legislation scheduled for parliament in November this year,” he said.
Draft legislation has been developed called the “Small Business Development Act” after an extensive consultation process. The process has included workshops, surveys and interviews with public officials, MSMEs, NGOs and other stakeholders.
The Office of the Registrar of Cooperative and Business Development Services (ORCBDS) also conducted and completed consultations in Tafea, Malampa, Torba, Sanma and Shefa provinces with Penama almost complete.
“After each consultation in each province, feedback from provincial government authorities and the participants selected from different small business categories expressed an urgent need to have this bill tabled and pass in Vanuatu parliament,” Mr Napat said.
“The new department will regulate the Small Business Development Act and ensure each citizen involved in small business is served by the government – to receive the support they need to be competitive and to prosper.”
The establishment of the Department of Ni-Vanuatu Business and Development Services (DNVBDS) is an important step for the Government to be informed of the status and growth of small business throughout Vanuatu.
“This information can only be obtained if the Department is established to implement its core function which is to establish, promote and control the registration of small businesses,” Mr Napat said.
“With this information, the government can create a conducive climate for entrepreneurial spirit and culture to grow and prosper throughout Vanuatu.”