The vision is clear that sooner or later, all artefact and handicraft products on sale at the Vanuatu Handikraf Senta and Mahitahi will be ‘Made in Vanuatu’.
A survey by International Finance Corporation (IFC) found that approximately 90% of products on sale by mamas at the Wharf and at Port Vila Market were cheap imported products from China.
But the current Manager of VHS and Mahitahi next door, Roy Pakoasongi and Bulvanua Cooperative Society, Rosalie Vatu are confident that a new trend is emerging to meet the challenge.
Following increasing public awareness for skillful men and women throughout the country to contribute towards increasing quality products to meet visitor expectations, both leaders say it is able to achieve the vision about five years down the road.
Mrs Vatu who is currently on her native Pentecost Island to continue to promote the ‘made in Vanuatu’ brand and buy more products from her producers says she is certain carvers and weavers are capable of producing all ‘made in Vanuatu’ products for sale to the tourists.
She says her network is working on a strategy for each island to specialize on specific products for sale to tourists.
For example, perhaps a certain island could specialise on carving mini tamtams while another could weave fans while yet another could produce a specific basket to meet a specific taste.
Mrs Vatu is confident the vision can be met within five years