Around 50 participants involved in the Fiji fashion industry are attending a two and a half day workshop organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat from 10th – 12th June 2014 at the Forum Secretariat Conference Centre, Suva.
The workshop is part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Cultures + project, funded by the European Union and managed by SPC, which is designed to strengthen the cultural industry in Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.
The Fiji fashion industry workshop would address the immediate needs of the Fiji Fashion Council as the peak representative body of the fashion industry in Fiji.
“There is much economic potential in the cultural and creative industry in the Pacific region but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to be able to realise this economic value,” says Shiu Raj, Director Economic Governance Programme at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
“The EU funded ACP Cultures + project is designed to address the gaps at both the private sector and government levels, by involving industry players and government officials.”
“With a new strategic plan and a clearer membership model, the Fiji Fashion Council will be better equipped to carry out is primary roles and responsibilities,” Mr Raj said.
Participants involved in the workshop include a cross section from the local fashion industry including Fiji Fashion executives, retailers, models, and designers. Observer from Samoa and Solomon Islands are also attending the workshop.
The main objective of this initiative is to promote a conducive national and regional environment for the cultural industries, particularly in the fashion industry, in the Pacific with a focus on Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands.
Although the initiative will benefit the region as a whole, it will provide in-depth assistance to the three selected countries. The initiative will be complemented by ongoing work in product development and marketing led by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat including through Pacific Islands Trade and Invest network of offices and by SPC’s ongoing work on cultural policy and cultural statistics development and heritage preservation and promotion.
In order to make a real difference, the initiative will limit itself to three countries and focus particularly on the three sub-sectors which offer best potential over the next few years: arts/crafts; fashion; and performing arts.
The initiative will consist of seven steps that provide direct technical assistance to the target groups and consist of:
A national strategic industry promotion workshop in each country.
A capacity building workshop for councils, associations and networks responsible for promotion of the cultural industries in each country, followed by one focused on fashion in which the three countries will participate.
A copyright awareness campaign and an enforcement workshop with law enforcement and border control officials in each country.
A technical assistance mission in each country by the Applicant and the regional partner.
An entrepreneurship workshop for cultural producers in each country.
A scoping in the three countries of their human resources development needs in the area of the cultural industries.
A trade promotion event for selected cultural producers of the three countries.