Empowering businesses up north

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Labasa Chamber of Commerce & Industries president Vinesh Dayal (left). Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA/FILE

Landowners of Labasa Town will be included in business ventures if they are willing to, says Labasa Chamber of Commerce & Industries president Vinesh Dayal.

In a press conference, Mr Dayal said iTaukei business empowerment was imperative.

“I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again that for decades with reasons best known to the business community, most businesses have kept iTaukei and landowners at arms length,” he said.

“But I have always believed in working with the iTaukei community and I have done so over the past decade. In one of my hotel projects here in Labasa, I am in partnership with the landowners from Naqai, here in town and this is to empower them in the business world but other business operators came in between, however, I will not stop pursuing what I believe in.

“We need to support our iTaukei brothers and sisters and this is something the chamber will support.”

Mr Dayal believes a lot could be done in this area of empowering the indigenous business community.

“I also call upon fish vendors, women selling handicraft and all operators of MSMEs to come on board and we will work together and help each other grow Labasa Town,” he said.

“We have kava dealers we have met and they are all willing to come on board. They never knew how to become members of the chamber so we will make sure that anyone who runs a business can join.

“For the MSME owners, we can discuss for them not to pay a fee because they run small businesses but we will surely support them to grow into bigger business.”

Mr Dayal said his team would work closely with the business community.

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