17 Jul 2014

Vanuatu push for more locally made products

7:46 am on 17 July 2014

A survey early this year found that about 90 percent of the handicrafts sold to visitors at a mother's market in Vanuatu were imported items.

The Vanuatu Tourism Ambassador Programme found in some cases market vendors get commission from shops, if they sell their products, which are usually imported from China.

That prompted the Programme to hold a workshop earlier this week, which was attended by over 100 mothers in Port Vila, in an attempt to identify producers from the handicrafts and arts industry in Vanuatu.

The National coordinator Adela Aru says they need to better link the producers to the market vendors, so they sell more local products to tourists.

"The main challenge is to work with the market vendors and tell them that 'when you continue to purchase the island dress from the Chinese shop and reselling them at your handicraft store, it is not helping local producers and in order to get more ni-Vanuatu to participate in the national economy, we need to help the producers."

Adela Aru says tourists also want to buy authentic locally-made products.