A-G TELLS DELEGATES
Identify regional limitations then find solutions
Recognising the limitations of the Pacific Island countries and then finding the solutions to these has been labelled a critical element for the region. The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, stressed this to participants attending a two-day Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) Workshop yesterday. The Strategic Planning workshop is held at the Tanoa Skylodge Hotel in Nadi. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said one of the limitations was that in the Pacific, we do not have the luxury of having access to readily available markets “Nor do we have the luxury of having pockets of population around our market place,” he said.
“That is a significant challenge for the Pacific where you have countries spread over vast ocean expanses, you have very low market numbers, we do not necessarily have the economies of scale. “Also, your ability to have a competitive environment or compete is invariably limited because you have low economies of scale. “So it makes the work of the private sector and your ability to attract private sector into your countries a lot more difficult.” But Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said while highlighting the challenges was important, you are not actually saying there are no opportunities.
He said this gives the opportunity for the Pacific Islands countries to learn to collaborate with each other and help develop certain sectors.
“If for example every single Pacific Islands countries had to setup each and every agency that is required for you to be able to meet various certification requirements of other countries, you will find it very difficult,” he said.
“This is because to resource it, to find the people to resource it, is extremely expensive.”
Identifying the niche
At the same time, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said these limited resources enables us to identify our niche and act upon it.
“There is obviously certain peculiarity of your country, your market and your ability to produce something,” he said. “That is what needs to be honed upon and for you to be able to utilise it to the maximum. There are certain things we do in the Pacific, that you are then able to market.”
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