Like the US, Britain and France, the fashion industry in Fiji could contribute significantly to the nation's economy, says President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau during the opening of Fiji Fashion Week recently at the Vodafone Arena.
"My research into the fashion industry revealed that the industry has contributed immensely to the economic growth of many countries," he said.
In Britain the fashion industry is reported to have contributed more than $32billion to the nation's economy in 2010.
The US, based on surveys by professors of the State University in Baltimore, found the fashion industry contributed significantly not only to revenue from the export of clothes and fashion accessories, but also to employment and to the US economy as a whole while the New York fashion industry reportedly employs about 100,000 people with a sales volume of $US14billion ($F24.9billion).
"With Fiji now on the path of rebuilding and growing its economy, the Fijian government in particular would like to encourage such cottage industries to flourish," Ratu Epeli said.
"I am advised that the cottage industries are normally under—appreciated, but they can and do contribute much more significantly to a nation's economy.
"They help employ people and put food on the table.
The sum output of all the cottage industries could result in a very significant contribution to the economy.
Fiji is no exception."