13 Oct 2008

Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce pushes for export drive

6:39 am on 13 October 2008

Vanuatu's chamber of commerce wants the government to be more proactive in promoting local manufacturers.

Since the 1980's, the gap between Vanuatu's imports and exports has increased, and it is now billions of vatu a year.

The Chamber's General Manager, John Aruhuri, who just held a Trade Fair in Port Vila, says last year Vanuatu imports were worth around 200 million US dollars, compared with exports of around 30 million.

"The gap is becoming wider and wider. There [is] a lot of talk from Government, but really, nothing very serious is happening on the ground level to encourage increased production of the various key commodoties that actually bring foreign currency into the economy."

John Aruhuri says Vanuatu could easily grow enough food for itself, if the capital's population wasn't so reliant on imported foods.