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Women in business

Timoci Vula
Saturday, November 10, 2012

ANY economic development that does not benefit the community and the people needs re-examination.

For that to happen, it is vital that there be a partnership of both the private and public sectors in any economy.

And Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) chief executive officer Mereia Volavola said it was time the third important partner — the community — was included.

Her comment comes a few days before more than 100 women from the Pacific region meet in Nadi to discuss and map out practical ways to improve the development of women entrepreneurs.

The PIPSO-organised three-day conference, to be held in November 14 to 16, will discuss challenges and opportunities in the domestic and export markets; overcoming export barriers and finding export opportunities; improving women's access to finance and other forms of credit; training and mentoring women entrepreneurs; women economic rights; and building and promoting women in business networks and associations, among others.

It has been established that a number of women entrepreneurs from the Pacific would feature as speakers at the conference; including attendance from a number of women business group representatives from PNG who are in the heavy transportation industry, coffee and meat industries.

Ms Volavola said in the Pacific, various studies and reports had been published on how to enhance women entrepreneurs and where various conferences and forums had been held both at the national and regional level to discuss how to improve the business environment.

For the last three years, except for one or two countries, she said the reforms to improve the business environment had been slow — clearly indicated in the Ease of Doing Business Reports.

She said at the end of the conference following their discussions and sharing of experiences, the participants would be able to develop practical solutions where the government, private sector and the community would work together to see its implementation at country level.

Ms Volavola said women living with disabilities would also be included in the conference and the Pacific Disability Forum.

"We cannot ignore disable women involved in business as they are also part of the private sector and also doing their part and working for an honest living.

"They deserved to be assisted just like able business women," she said of the participation of women with disabilities.

The Australian Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Penny Williams will officially open the conference.

The conference has been made possible through the support of Pacific Leadership Programme (PLP) and other business sponsors like Tanoa International Hotel, Westpac Banking Corporation, Pure Fiji and Mai Life Magazine.





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