The assistance through Government’s National Export Strategy is showing tangible results in the form of business expansion and employment generation.
Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary, Mr Shaheen Ali, said this was seventh year NES assistance was being given with the goal of enabling small and potential exporters to achieve growth by encouraging competition, value addition and diversification.
This is as Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum handed out cheques to eight recipients operating businesses mainly in the agricultural and fishing sector to the tune of $1.1 million.
“An impact survey has been done for recipients from 2007 to 2010 and we have seen tangible results with all cases seeing significant increase in exports and employment generation,” Mr Ali said.
He said this double impact was the result Government was seeking and they were confident that there will be similar success rate from the current recipients.
“We must also thank Government for increasing the amount (NES) as stated in the 2014 budget from $1m to $1.5m and this will assist small businesses to graduate to exporters,” the permanent secretary said.
The companies assisted were Celtrock Holdings Limited, Island Express Limited, Pacific Fishing Company Limited, Waterline Exporters Limited, Falkon Farms Export Limited, Food Processors (Fiji) Limited, Mannah (Fiji) Limited and Agriculture Marketing Authority.
The assistance sought by the recipients have mainly been for the purchase of equipments such as forklifts and industrial type freezers and to build sheds in order to allow the businesses meet the standards required for exporting commodities.
Food Processers chief executive officer, Mr Brij Lal said the assistance by Government and the other factors involved have led to the company’s growth whereby from earning just $100,000 initially it now rakes in $2 million.
The Ministry has encouraged other small businesses to apply when the expression of interest is put out through advertisements in the dailies.