The Department of Industry (DOI), in charge of the handicraft sector has officially appointed a ‘Handicraft Industry Working Group’ (HIWG) yesterday afternoon at the Ministry of Trades.

This was a milestone for the handicraft sector as there has never been a working group as such in place appointed by the government.

The Acting Director of Industry, Mr Noel Kalo said that the official appointment of the HIWG was a sign of commitment by the government of the day towards the handicraft sector.

“The main purpose of the HIWG is to provide a core group of knowledgeable industry experts who can provide business development skills, experience and assistance relevant to the development of the handicraft sector,”he said.

“The working Group will also serve as an advisory body to ensure that the objectives of the handicraft business development program are achieved.

“DOI acts as the secretariat of the working group.”

Director Kalo said that in the past years the handicraft sector used to be under the department of tourism, only because the tourism sector and handicraft sector are very closely linked.

“Last year 2016 after meetings between the head authorities, it was agreed that the Department of Industry who is in charge of ‘Value Adding’ should take the lead in the development of Handicraft sector, the department of tourism and other supporting institutions should also support DOI.”

He also stated that a project was approved under DOI “Vanuatu Handicraft Development Program” and funded by VSTAP (Vanuatu Strategic Tourism Action Plan).

“The Pandanus Consulting Ltd was contracted last year as the Technical Advisor (TA) for the project.” READ MORE