High cost hinders North growth

Labasa Chamber of Commerce president. Satish Kumar. Picture SUPPLIED

THE high cartage and freight cost has hindered developments and business growth on Vanua Levu.

Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Satish Kumar said while the North had great potential, policies that existed within government departments such as restricted cartage weight on roads prevented many from investing.

“We need factories to cater for employment, but the main factor is the freight from Suva to Labasa which is very costly,” he said.

“Government should look into this, and the worst part is the tracking of weight as the Fiji Roads Authority only allows 18 to 20 tonnes for us to bring to Vanua Levu.

“The containers are about 30 tonnes and we need to hire two trucks so this is an overhead cost for us so consumers end up paying the extra.”

Mr Kumar said this was one reason investors had not set up big factories in the North. ”

We also need to look at the agriculture sector seriously with cash crops as we supply a high percentage of livestock from the North to Viti Levu.”

More Stories