PIPSO to introduce new programme to train trainers in trade standards

A programme will soon be implemented by the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) to train trainers in the area of international certification and trade standards.

Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) chief executive, Mereia Volavola, said the ‘ACPTBT’ Programme will focus on quality assurance standards and will assist companies in terms of making exports easy.

“We have secured a programme with a focus on Fiji and Tonga to train trainers in the area of international certification and standards,” she said.

“This will also undertake certain assessment on selected number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Fiji and just review their processes in terms of standard compliance with the standards to assist the company in terms of making exports easy.”

She stated the private sector in Fiji has become very active.

“A lot of things are happening in the private sector these days from the corporate side and SMEs. Likewise in terms of the small micro businesses,” she said.

Volavola said the recent budget announced by the Government widens the platform for SMEs to grow and develop.

“With the recent budget there are some very good initiatives that have been announced by the Government particularly the setting up of the SME council,” she said.

“It will now only focus and address that sector which really needs quite a lot of assistance.”

Meanwhile, PIPSO chairman, Klaus Stunzner, says limited resources continue to pose challenges to the organisation.

“Financial resources, human resources limitation and access to the different types of assistance are our some areas that challenge us,” he said.

But he said PIPSO will gauge its strengths as well whilst identifying the gaps where it can bring in outside assistance to help achieve their objectives.

Therefore, the PIPSO Strategic Planning Workshop that is currently underway at Tanoa Skylodge Hotel in Nadi will do thorough strategic planning in a bid to further grow PIPSO and engage more resources into the organisation.

“One area we always need to account is the limited resources PIPSO has to work with,” Stunzner said.

“While there are a lot of expectations and a lot of needs to be accomplished, we also need to balance it with adequate resources that we have.

“Our focus for today and tomorrow is the strategic planning, I guess for us to see how we can move PIPSO forward in next three years so that we remain relevant to our members.

“Also that we are able to provide value and meet expectations not just of our members but our donor development partners and leaders in terms of economic development and trade.”

Today, PIPSO will conduct its Annual General Meeting and as well as a capacity building workshop for the chief executives of the Chambers of Commerce for the National Private Sector Organisation from its member partners.

PIPSO chief executive, Mereia Volavola, said: “There has been increase in entrepreneurs in informal sector, which is a good sign but we need to set a direction for it.”

She said they were looking at more development programmes to target small and medium enterprises sector.