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No business too small for us to help: A-G

More Fijian brand licences issued

The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has assured all businesses that no business is too small for the Government to help.
“Even if you are a small manufacturer of honey or coconut oil or you may be making a particular brand of soap, we will be there to assist you also,” he said.
“So let’s all work together to make sure your businesses do well so we ensure the Fijian economy does well.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made these comments as he welcomed another nine companies and 98 products under the umbrella of the Fijian-Made-Buy Fijian campaign brand.
This brings the total number of licensed products to 606 (total number of companies to 77).
The Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, said the products being licensed ranged across a wide variety of sectors.
“This goes to demonstrate the diversity and capacity of Fijian businesses,” he said.
The products include: household items such as steel sink benches; building materials – steel and paints, chocolates, cosmetic products, virgin coconut oil, footwear and herbal drinks such as kura.
In addition to the new licences, 16 existing companies’ licences are being renewed, and a total of 125 products will proudly carry the Fijian Made logo for another year.

Benefit of buying Fijian-Made
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum feels the first thing that needs to be done is inculcate within the minds of all Fijians that buying Fijian Made products means a number of things.
“By buying Fijian-Made, you are helping a Fijian company survive, you are also reducing our imports which means our foreign reserves goes up,” he said.
“Our foreign reserves goes up, our economy does well. When the economy does well, we all benefit.”

Adapting to changing dynamics
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said we need to be able to demonstrate that any Fijian made products are of good quality and good standard.
“The reality is that we cannot compete with China, Bangladesh, the other larger manufacturer of any goods,” he said.
“But what we can compete in though is things like standards, international best practices, environmental standards, having niche products.
“Not many countries in the world for example can make virgin coconut oil.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum further revealed there will be new products being produced in the Fijian market soon.

Trade mission to PNG
Mr Ali said the upcoming mission to Papua New Guinea provides a great opportunity to promote Fijian made products to a market of seven million, with an expatriate community of approximately 20,000.
The trade mission will be led by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama with the Minister for Industry and Trade.
Mr Ali said this would provide the perfect platform to market the Fijian-made brand and the products in Papua New Guinea.
“As part of the exhibition that the Ministry is organising, there will be booths dedicated to specifically for Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign and products,” he said.

(Source: Fiji Sun)