20 Oct 2009

Cook Islands to receive loan to aid small to medium business

8:36 pm on 20 October 2009

The Business Trade and Investment Board in the Cook Islands is hoping a four and a half million US dollar loan from a European Investment Bank will help micro to medium sized businesses to ease labour and resource constraints.

The Board provides business advice, runs workshops and helps out with business development and trade.

Its CEO Terry Rangi says the loan negotiated with the Bank of the Cook Islands, and with the support of the Deputy Prime Minister, offers some welcome relief to businesses.

"We have a fairly critical de-population problem, a lot of Cook Islanders have been leaving, and are continuing to leave, so there is a reliance on migrant labour. And anybody thats come over on holiday would've noticed sadly in some resorts there's a fair portion of Fiji labour and also Filipinos. But thats a reality. There are not enough Cook Islanders here. In addition access to finances is a big problem for us."

Terry Rangi says funds could also be used to improve the entrepreneurial skills of business people.