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Handicraft traders in dire straits
Feb '09
The handicraft traders in the capital, Suva and who operate from the designated Handicraft Centre and which houses most of the traders from the industry are a dejected lot. The reason, opening of two swanky showrooms selling all Fiji handicrafts products under one roof.

The Handicraft Centre which is in operation since the last 50 years has seen better days in the past, when a steady stream of cruise ships would download passengers, who would then flock to the centre to take back souvenirs and handicraft products.

But now with the passage of time, the number of ships has also reduced and the tourist guides who escort the embarking passengers take them straight to these swanky shops instead of guiding them to the Handicraft Centre, the practice which was followed in the past.

To get to the root of the story, fibre2fashion spoke to Mr Raju Pala, Secretary, Suva Retailers Association who was very forthcoming and said, “Yes local vendors who are running their business from flea market shop since long are facing difficulties”.

He added by saying, “The guides take the tourists straight to the big shops where they get various products under one roof, be it handicraft items, perfumes and clothes etc, due to which business of the local vendors has gone down drastically”.

He mentioned by saying, “Again the vendors now have to pay charges for the place which is used by them for their business, which brings down the profit ratio. The issues have been highlighted to the Govt. for taking positive step and help streamline this problem”.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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