The motor vehicle industry must not limit itself however needs to capitalise on Fiji being a hub in the Pacific were the sentiments yesterday from Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali.
Mr Ali highlighted this at the offi cial launch of the 2013 Yaris at Asco Motors showroom in Nabua showroom yesterday.
He said the challenge itself was to become a regional distributor of motor vehicles, rather than just a domestic distributor.
“We need to capitalise on our many advantages as a country, like – having better skills, better infrastructure and better connectivity in the region,” Mr Ali said.
“Some Fijian companies are exporting to our island neighbours.
“What is limiting Asco from doing the same, and becoming the supplier of Toyota Vehicles, not just in Fiji, but in the region?”
“We also acknowledge that in order to facilitate re-export, the border agencies (such as Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority) need to put in place processes that will allow for expeditious delivery of services.”
For instance on the duty draw back scheme, clearance of vehicles from bonds and release of documents for re-exports, he said.
3.5 per cent growth
In lieu of this, Mr Ali noted that Government reforms were bringing signs of improvement despite being in the face of a global downturn as the economy will now grow by 3.5 per cent.
“Investments are expected to reach an unprecedented 28 per cent of the GDP. Of that, private investment would be a major component.”
He added that the National Trade and Policy Framework will ensure that Government works with business communities to create an environment that generates growth in the country.
“And positions Fiji as a modern, internationally competitive economy, that serves as the hub of the region.”
Addressing the introduction of the All-New Yaris Sedan, he said that this was yet another milestone achievement by Asco Motors showing signs of commitment to investing in Fiji.
“The Government is also working towards improving the standard of fuel, to bring it in line with international standards.
“It has restricted importation of second-hand vehicles to only those that comply with Euro 4 fuel standards.
This would ensure that more high-quality, fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles are imported into Fiji.
“Therefore, the introduction of new models, like the Toyota Yaris, demonstrates the increasing quality of motor vehicle on our roads; vehicles with better performance, reliability and fuel efficiency – helping to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and their negative impact on our environment.”
Drive for progress
Asco Motors acting chief executive, Jai Kumar said the Japanese-based company is determined to assist people at all levels of economic progress.
“We are proud to bring another upgraded Toyota model into the Fiji market following our successful launch of the new RAV 4,” Mr Kumar said.
“This reflects Toyota’s passion to meet our customer expectations and fulfil their dreams.”
To acquire financial arrangements, Toyota Product Specialist Linda Schramm Toyota said these can be arranged through their car loan financiers, ANZ, BSP, Credit Corporation, Merchant Finance Limited and others.
(Source: Fiji Sun)