To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Monday, August 28, 2006

To'abaita leader awarded Technical Assistance Scholarship to attend Seminar in Japan

A prominent To'abaita leader is currently attending a two weeks unique development seminar in Japan on a Technical Assistance Scholarship under the Japanese Government's Support.

Mr Leliana Daowana Firisua is in Japan to attend a seminar on the "One Village, One Product" for LDCs, which is known in Japanese as "Isson Ippin".

The "One village, One product" (OVOP) model is a stategic movement for local people to identify local products of which they are proud of and develop into competitive products which will be accepted in the domestic market as well as global markets. It has the potential to greatly contribute to reinvigoration of local economies. This movement, which is known as Isson Ippin in Japanese, was advocated by Mr. Hiramatsu, the then Governor of Oita prefecture, in 1979 where he faced a declining of community power due to depopulation of the region. He promoted this movement in every part of the prefecture. The success of this movement was relayed to parts of Asia and Africa, including Thailand which saw a great success. In Thailand the movement is known as "One Tambon (one district), One Product".

The Technical Scholarship which is awarded to Mr Firisua is part of the Japanese Government's support under Doha round (Doha Development Agenda, DDA)-World Trade Organization (WTO) commitment for trade liberalization. Japanese Government will assist developing OVOP movement in LDCs and others from a more medium and longer perspective. Specifically, LDCs will be assisted to improve their capability in developing and exporting their products. An example of this assistance is that experts will be dispatched to help explore and improve the potential promising products. In addition trainees will be enhancing human resources development and being provided with useful information. Both the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) and the Ministry of Economy, trade and Industry (METI) will implement this programme on behalf of the Japanese Government.

According to Mr Firisua, he has been selected by the Solomon Islands Government (Department of Commerce, Industries and Employment) since May this year and accepted by the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) Japan in representing Solomon islands.

One Village, One Product (OVOP) campaign began february this year (2006), which supports initiating OVOP movement in LDC's and others through exhibitions.

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