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Fiji Sun - - ANALYSIS -

posted Pete Nut­tall’s anal­y­sis from last week’s (“Can we build an­other Reef En­deav­our?” 27/5/20) to the Sea­far­ers Fiji

group. His think piece on now be­ing the time to re­vi­talise Fiji’s ship build­ing in­dus­try cer­tainly started a con­ver­sa­tion.

Com­ments came pour­ing in, both from lo­cals but also from Fiji’s sea­far­ing di­as­pora, with recol­lec­tions from the days of build­ing the

demon­strat­ing that Fiji still has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge, al­beit much over­seas­based. Com­ments also high­lighted the need for a com­bined pack­age: train­ing, yards, sup­port­ing ser­vices and in­dus­try to name just a few.

This week I read Fe’íloak­i­tau Kaho Tevi’s ar­ti­cle on the Pa­cific’s re­sponse to the dou­ble whammy of COVID-19 and Trop­i­cal Cy­clone (TC) and his clear ar­tic­u­la­tion that now is the time to re­set the Pa­cific’s think­ing on de­vel­op­ment. He high­lights the re­gion’s strengths be­ing in cul­ture and com­mu­nity, rec­i­proc­ity, and abil­ity to re­spond in times of need (he gives the ex­am­ple of Lu­ganville pro­vid­ing huge quan­ti­ties of yams, and other crops and es­sen­tials for Pen­te­cost post TC

Mr Tevi also high­lights the pos­i­tive el­e­ments of cul­ture and com­mu­nity that can pro­vide an al­ter­na­tive model to the vul­ner­a­ble eco­nomic mod­els of to­day (the con­se­quences of over re­liance on in­ter­na­tional tourism as an ex­am­ple in Fiji and Van­u­atu) and the

It is clear that we have only a very small win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for re­set­ting the cur­rent de­vel­op­ment model, and that the ship­ping sec­tor is a fun­da­men­tal and es­sen­tial part of de­vel­op­ment and eco­nomic and so­cial well­be­ing and con­nec­tiv­ity, al­low­ing rec­i­proc­ity and ex­change be­tween com­mu­ni­ties in re­sponse to need (whether that be a re­sult of pan­demic or se­vere weather or for ev­ery­day trade).

Some of our Pa­cific neigh­bours are re­liant on do­na­tions from the de­vel­oped

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