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Expressions of interest called for export funding

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has called for expressions of interest from those exporters who require funding assistance through the National Export Strategy for 2014.

Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali, has encouraged current exporters who require assistance to increase and facilitate their exports to apply.

“Eligibility for assistance will based on the set criteria for this facility,” he said in a notice published in the Fiji Sun.

“The Ministry, in particular, encourages SMEs that are in the export business to apply.
“The Ministry will assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing advice on the criteria, application process and relevant documents that are required with the application.”

The six prioritised sectors that the National Export Strategy facility targets are agro-business, marine products, forest, ICT, audio visual and mineral water.

The initiative

This year, marks the seventh year of implementation of the National Export Strategy by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Mr Ali highlighted the National Export Strategy is an important initiative of the Bainimarama Government.

“It aims to enable exporters and potential exporters to achieve competiveness, value addition, export diversification and growth in targeted markets overseas,” he said.

Mr Ali revealed that through the National Export Strategy, Government has over the past seven years been able to support 34 projects, amounting to $6.2 million.
“This has led to significant increase in export sales and employment in majority of the companies that have been supported,” he said.

Benefits of increased budget

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in his 2014 Budget announcement, increased the support for National Export Strategy from $1 million to $1.5 million.

Mr Ali said this support is to continue assistance to our exporters, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to overcome impediments to trade and find new markets.
“This will enable the country to increase export, continue to improve our balance of payments and foreign reserves,” he said.

$1.1m this year

In late November, the Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum handed out cheques of around $1.1 million in total to eight recipients.

The recipients were operating business mainly in the agricultural and fishing sector.

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 equipment such as forklifts and industrial type freezers and to build sheds in order to allow the businesses meet the standards required for exporting commodities.

Application and deadline

Application forms and the criteria for funding can be obtained from the Ministry’s office on Level 2, Naibati House, Goodenough Street, Suva.
The forms and criteria are also available on the Ministry’s website: www.mit.gov.fj.

The deadline for the application is February 10.

(Source: Fiji Sun)