ni-Vanuatu eating more imported than local food: QuestionnaireVanuatu Daily Post – More and more ni-Vanuatu are eating imported food than the local food, information gleaned from a survey that is part of awareness and consultations for a Food Security and Food Safety and Nutrition Policy for Vanuatu shows.

Mrs. Emily Tumukon, consultant for food security, food safety and nutrition policy says they are finding that people are tended to be swayed to look at accepting or preferring to eat what is imported rather than what is grown.

“What is locally grown is healthier, more nutritious, you have access to it, it is readily available but people are changing their lifestyles,” she says.

“With this there is an issue.

“I’m sure you know that we have NCD (non-communicable diseases) issues which have become a crisis for us,” Tumukon tells 96 BuzzFM’s Vanuatu Nightly News host Kizzy Kalsakau.

“How do we address this? So, having a policy in place gives guidance to how we can fully address the issue of NCD and fully address awareness programs.”

“From what I gathered from questionnaires that I gave out, awareness from agriculture or awareness from health is probably zero to one in a year.

“Already this is showing that some people are not being aware of issues related to food,” she lamented.

Mrs. Tumukon also pointed to the fact that different islands have different issues and challenges as regards food security.

“For example Paama. It is an island on which there haven’t been much government consultations that go there.

“But from what I’ve found out that they are rich with resources in terms of our local food, they have everything from wild yam to kumala, to pawpaws, all the nut trees and they have all that.

“But what are the people actually eating. They are actually eating imported food stuff and what is left in the gardens is what in most times is left to rot.

The food security and food safety and nutrition policy will also aim to tackle imported food and how best Vanuatu can address its food security issues and ensured that people are food secured.

It is hoped to get the policy endorsed through the government system and start using by the end of 2017.

Policy consultant, Emily Tumukon, said the consultation for Efate will be held on Thursday this week at the Moorings Hotel in Port Vila, starting at 9am and lasting until 4pm.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: Cell # 678 5460922

Check out the private French Polynesian island Obama is about to vacation on for a month

Less than two months since leaving office, former President Barack Obama is doing an excellent job at giving us destination envy.

First there was the Caribbean kitesurfing adventure with Richard Branson, and now he’s off to another paradise on Earth: French Polynesia.

the brando french polynesian island
the brando french polynesian island

On Wednesday, Obama landed in Tahiti, according to local reports, on his way to luxury resort The Brando (named in honor of the late actor Marlon Brando) on the private atoll of Tetiaroa.

“Tetiaroa is beautiful beyond my capacity to describe,” Brando said of the spot. “One could say that Tetiaroa is the tincture of the South Seas.”

the brando hotel french polynesia
the brando hotel french polynesia

The resort, which was designed “to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture,” has 35 villas on white-sand beaches with sea turtles and exotic birds. Nightly rates start at more than $2,000.

Besides enjoying the scenery, it isn’t clear what Obama will be doing during his stay on the island, or if his family will be joining him at some point. However, there is speculation that he could be working on his memoirs, for which he and Michelle Obama recently scored about $60 million.

Read the original article on Travel + Leisure. Copyright 2017. Follow Travel + Leisure on Twitter.

Perdana Menteri Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai dan para duta besar./
Perdana Menteri Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai dan para duta besar./

Port Vila, Jubi – Perdana Menteri Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai menekankan pentingnya para duta besar untuk menarik investor melakukan bisnis di Vanuatu. Selain itu, duta besar juga wajib menarik minat negara lain untuk menjalin kerjasama bilateral.

Salwai mengatakan itu di hadapan pertemuan para duta besar di resor Aquana, Eratap.

“Awal tahun ini, pemerintah meluncurkan Rencana Pembangunan Berkelanjutan Nasional untuk negara ini. Kita sebut dokumen ini ‘Vanuatu 2030’ karena ini berisi visi negara untuk mencapai kemajuan pembangunan Vanuatu yang stabil, berkelanjutan dan sejahtera hingga 15 tahun mendatang,” ujar Salwai.

Rencana Pembangunan ini disusun berdasarkan nilai-nilai Kristiani dan Melanesia pada khususnya adat budaya Vanuatu yang membedakan bangsa Vanuatu dengan bangsa dan negara lainnya.

Ia menegaskan bahwa pemerintah hari ini berkomitmen mengimplementasikan, memonitor dan melaporkan kemajuan pelaksanaan rencana ini. Kesuksesan dokumen ini bergantung pada kepemilikian kolektif dan kerjasama/kolaborasi antara rakyat, pemerintah, pemimpin masyarakat, institusi bisnis, masyarakat sipil dan mitra pembangunan.
Terkait kebijakan luar negeri, Salwai menyatakan bahwa peran para duta besar dan kementerian luar negeri yang paling krusial saat ini adalah untuk mengamankan pasar baru.

“Lebih jauh lagi, pemerintah membutuhkan dukungan Anda semua dalam hal inisiatif sektor ekonomi termasuk menarik investasi asing, sektor sosial, khususnya di bidang pendidikan dan kesehatan serta dukungan terhadap pemerintah provinsi contohnya melalui perjanjian sister cities dengan negara lain,”


Berdasarkan data yang dirilis oleh Badan Promosi Investasi Vanuatu (VIVA) pada tahun 2015, sektor finansial dan jasa konsultansi menempati posisi pertama sebagai sektor paling diminati investor. Kemudian diikuti oleh sektor pariwisata, transportasi dan jasa.

Lima negara asal investor mayoritas dari Papua Nugini (60%), Tiongkok (9%), AS (8%), Selandia Baru (7%) dan Australia (6%). **

Reporter : Editor : Lina Nursanty
Freeport negotiations with government continue

Fedina S. Sundaryani The Jakarta Post,Jakarta | Thu, March 16, 2017 | 06:01 pm

Negotiations between the government and gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia continue almost one month after the firm submitted its complaints and threatened to take the case to international arbitration.

Tony Wenas, who takes part in the negotiations as Freeport Indonesia executive vice president, said no solution had been reached since negotiations started.

“The discussions are still ongoing, and we are trying to find the best resolution for the future,” he said on Thursday.

Tony declined to disclose what exactly was the deadlock keeping the two parties from concluding their negotiations.

Freeport has refused to accept the government’s demand to convert its contract of work (CoW) agreement into a special mining license (IUPK). The company argues that an IUPK would effectively annul its CoW signed in 1991.

Freeport says it does not want to give up the rights listed in its CoW, including protection of its long-term investments.

Under new government regulations, Freeport is required to gradually divest 51 percent of its shares to Indonesian entities.

Tony met with Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto on Thursday, a day after visiting the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to discuss the issue with officials there. (bbn)

Indonesia’s long relationship with Freeport at crossroads

By Asian Correspondent Staff | 16th March 2017

AMERICAN mining giant Freeport-McRoRan Copper & Gold may soon pull out of Indonesia after more than four decades due to prolonged conflict with the government.

The company, which is the country’s oldest international investor and largest taxpayer, has been embroiled in a battle with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration over new national mining regulation.

Legislation introduced in January 2017 requires Freeport to convert its business contract into a special mining licence, dictating the company must divest 51 percent of shares in its local subsidiary within a decade and build a new US$2 billion smelter.

Economic nationalism

With economic nationalism a key aspect of Jokowi’s agenda, the government is also demanding higher royalties, land relinquishments and more materials to be procured from local suppliers.

Freeport McMoRan’s current contract was set to expire in 2021 and CEO Richard C. Adkerson has insisted the company will not meet Jakarta’s demands to change its contract, threatening international arbitration.

It was signed in 1991 under the New Order dictatorship, long before Indonesia’s transition to democracy began in 1998.

Meanwhile, the government has been preparing state-owned aluminium company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium to take over management of the gold and copper mining site.

Last week, the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignatius Jonan met with several of his predecessors to discuss the continuation of Freeport Indonesia’s business – even including the minister who served under Suharto between 1978 and 1988.

Protesters across Indonesia have called for the government to nationalise PT Freeport Indonesia, framing American ownership of the company as a form of colonialism.

The company, meanwhile, claim to have injected US$16 billion into Indonesian coffers between 1992 and 2015, and that divesting would impact Indonesia’s foreign investment climate.

Impact on local communities

Whilst negotiations might be taking place in office towers in Jakarta, a temporary suspension of Freeport’s operations is having significant consequences 3000km away in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province where the mine is located.

Indonesia’s central bank reports the local economy has significantly slowed since Freeport’s decision to indefinitely shut down production. PT Freeport Indonesia has laid off more than 1500 workers in the past two months as negotiations have dragged on.

Natalius Pigai of the national human rights commission, Komnas HAM, told The Jakarta Post “it is not fair to just think about nationalism while letting many people suffer. The government should protect the rights of Papuans, including their job rights.”

Papua has a relatively high GDP compared with other Indonesian provinces despite its small population. Less than four million of Indonesia’s 250 million people live there.

Nevertheless, Papua had the highest rate of poverty of any province at 27.8 percent in 2014, compared with 11 percent nationwide.

Papuan tribal leaders visited the offices of human rights group Imparsial in Jakarta this month, pleading with the government to allow participation from local people in the decision-making process.

Meegabo Traditional Papua Council chairman John Gobai asked Jokowi’s administration to allow Freeport to “operate while the government, Freeport and the Papuan customary councils meet to negotiate the company’s contract. We do not care who will own the company’s shares later.”

Earlier in March, roughly 100 Freeport employees protested outside the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry in Jakarta to demand a swift resolution to the dispute.

Layoffs at the company were “a result of regulations issued by the government without giving much attention to the fate of 32,000 employees and Timika residents,” PT Freeport Indonesia Employees Solidarity group member Nathalia Nauw said.

Amungme tribal council Lemasa director Odizeus Beanal said: “We simply want the government and Freeport to think about the fate of Papuans, whose land has been damaged.”


The $100bn gold mine and the West Papuans who say they are counting the cost

West Papua's Aikwa river
West Papua’s Aikwa river

In 1936, Dutch geologist Jean Jacques Dozy climbed the world’s highest island peak: the forbidding Mount Carstensz, a snow-covered silver crag on what was then known as Dutch New Guinea. During the 4,800-metre ascent, Dozy noticed an unusual rock outcrop veined with green streaks. Samples he brought back confirmed exceptionally rich gold and copper deposits.

Today, these remote, sharp-edged mountains are part of West Papua, Indonesia, and home to the Grasberg mine, one of the biggest gold mines – and third largest copper mine – in the world. Majority-owned by the American mining firm Freeport McMoRan, Grasberg is now Indonesia’s biggest taxpayer, with reserves worth an estimated $100bn (£80bn).

But a recent fact-finding mission (by the Brisbane Archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission) described a “slow-motion genocide” (pdf) taking place in West Papua, warning that its indigenous population is at risk of becoming “an anthropological museum exhibit of a bygone culture”.

New Zealand has been traditionally and culturally aligned more closely to Polynesian states than Melanesian countries.

The country’s interest in building business ties with Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu is relatively recent when compared to the historic links that Australia has had with Melanesia.

In the past couple of years, New Zealand has led several business delegations to these countries, playing catch up – and with a view to participate in their resource-fuelled growth in the energy and mining sectors. While business with Melanesian countries is on the rise, New Zealand companies do realise that there is significant potential to be tapped in the coming decades.

The nearly decade-old New Zealand Pacific Business Council last week arranged an afrer-5 seminar for its members on ‘Doing Business in Melanesia’ in Auckland.

Speakers included Amelie Wahl, Business Development Manager of Tegel Foods, Corporate lawyer Brian Clayton of Chapman Tripp, Graeme Roberts of Beca and Aucklander Gol Khadem, who is establishing a business in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The speakers shared their experience of doing business in the Melanesian countries – the challenges, the opportunities and the rewards.

Much information was shared during the interactive discussions. Topics discussed ranged from logistic challenges to tariffs and trade agreements and regimes to local distribution and setting up businesses within the countries.

New Zealand’s international profile was highly respected and Kiwis were generally treated as friendly, trustworthy and knowledgeable, Mr Clayton said. Ms Wahl said the high tariff for imported chicken in Vanuatu was a challenge, while Mr Roberts detailed Beca’s long experience in infrastructure projects throughout Melanesia. Ms Khadem gave a highly personal account of her experience in setting up a business in Honiara.

The council is contemplating a business and trade delegation some time next year to a Melanesian country.


French Polynesia business lending slows

Banks in French Polynesia are reporting a business slowdown after a promising beginning of the year.

The IEOM, which issues the French Pacific franc, says lending to businesses in the second quarter has seen a decrease by five percent.

It says this is the lowest level in four years.

The territory’s economy has suffered a contraction in the past decade, with a sharp increase in unemployment.

French Polynesia, Papeete waterfront Photo: RNZ
French Polynesia, Papeete waterfront Photo: RNZ

Compiled by RANOBA BAOA, Fiji Sun Online

Welcome to Hard Talk, where we pose questions to both top executives and budding entrepreneurs on some of the major issues involving business.

The newest magazine on shelf is fast turning heads with common A-B-C journalism questions on ‘what, why who, where and how’ the magazine emerged.

Business Melanesia is the newest magazine on the market which focuses on Melanesian leaders, top company executives with emerging entrepreneurs who deal, trade and exchange between the Melanesian region.

We believe it also provides the much-needed content which Melanesia’s business industry and leaders can turn to.
The first issue came out in November and is now the second February issue is available.

In this section, we catch up with managing editor, Stanley Simpson, no doubt a synonymous name in the media circle and multi-award winning journalist in Fiji.

He tells us more of the magazine and perhaps lay to rest most, if not all, your questions and ones we too have been asking.

Questions for Business Melanesia managing editor, Stanley Simpson:

1. Tell us about this much talked-about Business Melanesia.

The idea for Business Melanesia magazine emerged after partners from Papua New Guinea and Fiji saw the increased trade and business interaction between the two countries and throughout Melanesia, particularly under the MSG free trade agreement.
We felt it was important to highlight the developments taking place, and profile the leadership and endeavours being undertaken in the various sectors.

There is a need for an influential quality magazine that helps shape constructive and positive perspectives of Melanesia, and provides sound, critical, fair and balanced assessment of the various initiatives being undertaken.

We believe there is interest for a magazine that allows the Melanesian public and business people to:

  • l Share views with each other
  • l Read about each other
  • l Discover business opportunities
  • l Assess the various strategies being undertaken
  • l Record the lessons and experiences of business initiatives.


Having a magazine that captures these MSG efforts is a sign of our development and growth as a Melanesian society that can think on its own, have and project its own views, independently and critically assess projects, propose ideas and initiatives and share information that help our people grow and make informed opinions and decisions.

2. Who is the publisher and if you could highlight some interesting facts about him and the company?

Business Melanesia magazine is registered, published and based in Papua New Guinea with production such as editorial, graphics and marketing largely outsourced to a Fijian company, given the reasonable costs of running a business in Fiji.
Plans are also underway to set up offices, correspondents and contributors in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands to make the magazine truly Melanesian.
There are challenges associated with that we need to overcome, however technology allows us to solve some of those challenges.
At the moment we acknowledge that the magazine has been PNG and Fiji-focused but that will change. The feedback we have been getting from the various countries has been overwhelmingly positive.

3. What is the magazine aiming to do?

Business Media Fiji Limited is the Fijian company that is providing much of the editorial, graphics and marketing for Business Melanesia magazine.
It also provides a range of media services and consultancies for other organisations and entities. It is made up of local ‘home grown’ media professionals.

We are not looking to compete with existing publications – but simply find our own niche.

4. What/who are the Business Melanesia’s target market and penetrate into this market?

The magazine is addressing a cross-section of the Melanesian public including entrepreneurs, managers, decision makers and business leaders. We also aim to inspire young Melanesians with success stories and profiles of leaders in various sectors.

We are looking to partner with companies that are looking to have regional coverage, to establish their brand or looking to promote their products, services and expertise across the MSG countries – as well as companies that facilitate business across the region.  We want to talk about companies that are making a meaningful contribution in their own countries that can be replicated in other MSG countries.
We are ensuring that the 400 most influential people in each MSG country from MPs, CEOs, Ministers and business leaders get to read the magazine and we are sending it to them at our own cost. The magazine is also sold in over 50 outlets throughout Melanesia.

5. How does the magazine aim to keep up with the competitive world of online media?

The Melanesian countries of the South Pacific are poised for strong economic growth and greater regional co-operation with the signing of the MSG Free Trade Agreement.

Business Melanesia magazine aims to capture this Melanesian resurgence – which could be a defining moment in the history of our countries and peoples.

There are many companies that are trying to take advantage of this new era of business opportunities – to expand or further their investment. Business Melanesia will provide information and analysis of the business environment and developments in MSG countries.

It will also facilitate their efforts to project their image across the region, or break into the various markets by highlighting their products and services – either through articles or through advertising.

Through the magazine – companies will be able to reach decision makers, customers, and potential business partners in five MSG countries.