Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, was the chief guest during Fiji’s National Day celebrations at the Yeosu Exposition underway in Korea.
Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, told the Fiji Sun from Korea that the exposition had provided Fiji with the platform to showcase Fijian products as well as the culture and tradition to the rest of the world.
He further stressed the genuine interest from Fijian companies to explore business opportunities in Korea.
“This interest in reflected in the presence of a number of leading companies in Fiji who are part of the trade and investment delegation in Korea,” he said.
A Trade and Investment Seminar was organised on Thursday in Korea in which the Fijian delegation participated.
Mr Ali said he was confident the seminar would create opportunities to further enhance trade and investment exchange between the two countries.
Reiterating the Prime Minister’s words, Mr Ali said Fijian exports to Korea had increased 400 per cent from US$4 million (in 2009) to US$20.5m.
“Imports have also increased in 2011 after two years of low. Major Korean brands such as Hyundai, Kia and Samsung are making inroads into Fiji,” he said.
Mr Ali, referring to the opening of the permanent Fiji Mission in Seoul on Thursday, said it was a clear indication of Fiji’s commitment and drive to ‘Look North’.
“This brings the total number of Fijian Missions in the Asian region to five, (seven if you count the trade commissions in Taiwan and Shanghai), which is a significant number for a small island developing state such as Fiji,” he said.
The Yeosu Exposition opened on May 11, 2012, with 109 countries participating.
Fiji is housed in the Joint Pacific Pavillion, with Vanuatu, Palau, PNG, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Timor Lester, PDR Laos, and El Salvador and has been attracting record numbers of visitors.
Fiji’s booth is complete with Fijian made products and cultural items displayed.
The National Day programme will display Fiji’s unique culture and ceremonies, such as the traditional yaqona ceremony of welcome that will be accorded to the Prime Minister followed by Fijian entertainment which will captivate the Korean audience.