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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