The cultural industries in Fiji represent an important economic sector tied to tourism, heritage and culture.

To support this sector, an industry-specific training programme is being offered to build on existing skills within the cultural producer population.

The targeted curriculum is aimed at boosting the livelihoods of producers and supporting economic growth by specifically enhancing the business, marketing and product development skills of cultural producers.

The programme is made possible through the European Union supported “Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands” project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).

The training, which began yesterday in Suva, is being implemented in partnership with the Fiji Department of Heritage and Arts and the Fiji Arts Council.

“This training will focus specifically on handcraft, design and visual art producers,” the Deputy Director of SPC’s Social Development Division, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago-Elisara said.

“Through formal presentations and interactive sessions, the training will provide cultural and creative producers with knowledge and skills to enhance their businesses and livelihoods.

“The participants will learn about entrepreneurial and business topics specific to the cultural industries such as quality control, supplier and buyer relationships, distribution channels, marketing strategies and materials, product development and design, and costing and pricing,” Ms Toelupe Tago-Elisara added.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development reported that the global market for cultural and creative industries topped USD 624 billion in 2011, demonstrating the power of the sector when properly harnessed.

The curriculum used in this week’s training was developed early this year through a partnership between SPC and the Samoan Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC).

The partners piloted the training programme with over 40 participants in two sessions in Samoa in August 2015 with support from PIFS, the European Union, Samoan Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Samoa Arts Council. This was followed by a session in Solomon Islands with over 30 participants and was implemented in partnership with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Solomon Islands Arts Alliance.

The training, which is being held at the Pacific Community’s Nabua campus, concludes on 27 November.

Media contact: Luisa Mavoa, SPC Project Administrator, luisam@spc.int or +679 337 0733