Rarotonga businessman Timothy Vaikai from the Fresh Fish Company takes part in the Pacific Islands Forum peer learning exchange programme in Mauritius. SUPPLIED/22102512
Importing and exporting fish with other Pacific nations is in the pipeline, says Fresh Fish Company owner Timothy Vaikai, after visiting African island nation, Mauritius.
Vaikai was one of six
private sector representatives across the Pacific who took part in the Pacific Islands Forum peer
learning exchange programme between October 17 and 21.
The programme focused on private sector representation from the
Vaikai said the Fresh Fish Company planned to trade fish with Pacific
Island nations following the event.
Rarotonga residents would have a continuous supply of fish from December,
However, Vaikai said he could not go into detail about his company’s trading
plans at this stage.
The Fresh Fish Company acts as a “middle man” between local fishermen
Vaikai said Mauritius was “20-years ahead” of the Cook Islands, despite it
being a small nation with limited resources.
“It was really good to see how they
managed to build up their economy and their private sector to be one of the
richest in the Indian Ocean, and just to see how we can improve on our side.”
Vaikai said organised legislation, the
tax system and overseas investment allowed Mauritius to grow as a country.
He said clear legislation allowed
fisheries in Mauritius to grow.
“The principal was the legislation was
clear, it was simple, it was understandable, and it was pushed to the public.
“I just want to get a clear understanding
of our legislation to see how we can improve and adapt.”
Vaikai also said the Mauritius government had
fewer barriers for businesses.
“Sometimes we want to grow a business and
there’s a lot of bureaucratic measures to go through and the government can
kind of get in the way, but Mauritius kind of eased up on that to allow their
sector to grow.”
Vaikai said interacting with other
Pacific delegates was a highlight of his trip.
“The atmosphere was very enthusiastic,
everyone was very helpful with each other.
“Technically we should be in competition with one
another, but this spirit was more, ‘let’s cooperate with each other’.”