This is my piece on the above subject.
The newly elected government has plans to work with Mr Wong Sze Sing, a local business man on Santo to start a tuna cannery plant on Santo. Whilst this is great news to boost employment within the northern provinces, it may not be the best deal to push exports and trade within the region. Solomon Islands Waioka Tuna, Solomon Blue, PNG’s Dolly Tuna, Fiji’s Angel Gold, and the list goes on...are all direct competitors that established their share of the market years ahead of us. Why do we want to squeeze our-self into the same already populated and competitive market?
Vanuatu is well known in the region and by any other visitors near and far for its best quality beef. Mr. Wong has been working hard to put up a beef processing plant on Santo but to no avail as he could not meet certain government policy requirements. This is where the government should step in, help him through and start producing the product we are known for. Our long-gone Santo Meat and Vila Meat products have already set the taste and customer base locally. Comparing Vanuatu beef to any others in the region, we do not have a competitor — That is an ABSOLUTE ADVANTAGE base on quality. Putting up a processing plant on Santo will push employment, beneficial to local cattle farmers up north, and will improve our trade balance within the region.
It will take us less time to establish our-self in the market than squeezing into an already competitive market.
Sometimes it is wise to rethink simple things through again and again.
Blue Corner — Chapuis