Background: Handicraft Business Development Program (HBDP) is a newly developed program aiming to improve Vanuatu’s handicraft sector by developing Vanuatu’s economy and maximizing opportunities to grow the trade of local products thus creating employment for locals and injecting the substantial money into the local economy. According to a handicraft data produced in 2016, the value of the tourist souvenir and handicraft market is 1.3 billion vatu. However 90% of the products traded are imported thus a very large percentage of this revenue is currently supporting overseas production and businesses. This program is funded by the NZAid under the VSTAP and Australian Aid Vanuatu Skills Partnership (formerly known TVET) in collaboration with the Department of Industry.

The Vanuatu Government has committed to support locally made products by dedicating the newly re-constructed market houses in Port Vila for the sale of made in Vanuatu goods only. The two market houses were officially handed over to the Vanuatu Gov’t on the 1st of September 2017 and are jointly managed by the HBD Program under the Department of Industry in partnership with Port Vila Municipal Council.

OBJECTIVES:

The work that will be implemented in the Handicraft Sector is dedicated to promoting and facilitating the development and growth of the Handicraft industry. There are three main objectives for the development of the handicraft sector:

  1. To encourage the sector to sell more Made in Vanuatu items as souvenirs and gifts in the tourism market.
  2. To consolidate and strengthen the handicraft product supply chain to support the growth of the industry.
  3. To encourage commercialization of Made in Vanuatu products and the formalization of this for industry.

Importantly, these objectives directly support the Vanuatu National Sustainable Development plan 2030. In particular, in the areas of Vanuatu’s Societal Goals, supporting the preservation of culture and in the economic pillars, increasing economic opportunities for Ni Vanuatu.

This plan aims to build on the current work being performed within the department with the intention to promote Vanuatu made Handicrafts within the sector in order to make Vanuatu products more competitive, especially in the tourism souvenir market. As our important tourism sector grows so too are there more opportunities for employment and sustainable earnings for our people with increased sales of handicrafts.

We believe strongly in partnership with relevant agencies in government and the private sector. In particular, the handicraft industry development work is performed with close cooperation from the Department of Tourism through the VSTAP team and with the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (formerly known as TVET).

Working together with our partner organizations will increase our capacity, expand our knowledge, improve access to abundant resources, and extend our horizon beyond visible limits. As Director, I look forward to fully implementing the activities set out in this plan for enhancing the growth of the sector over the next five years.