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A-G in India talks

The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, is in India to strengthen trade relations between Fiji and India.

He is leading a delegation for a series of high-level meetings to create new trade, investment  and tourism opportunities.

The delegation includes the Permanent Secretary for Trade and Industry, Shaheen Ali, and his deputy Maciu Lumelume and the Chair of Investment Fiji, Truman Bradley.

They will be joined later by the CEO of Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, JitokoTikolevu.
Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, Yogesh Karan, is also with the delegation.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the trip would promote Fijian interests in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies.
He has been invited by the Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, to speak at the Partnership Summit that is being held in Bangalore, India from today to Wednesday.

“The summit will focus on the emergence of global value chain in international trade. With the rapid changes in the world trading system, Fiji cannot be complacent and simply do things the way they have been done.

“We as a country need to constantly lift our game and promote the opportunities brought about by the Bainimarama Government.
“Our economic model is different and working well and which we need to capitalise on. This involves robust and smart policy making, recognising the rapid changes around us and thinking ahead vis-a-vis our new direction.”

He said: policy makers and civil servants including those serving in our foreign and trade missions need to be switched on, put our country first, understand the specific dynamics that exist and vary from country to country.

“Countries that were considered non-players or unimportant or even unsophisticated are now very much on the ball. Team Fiji needs to understand these dynamics. We must be proactive, sophisticated and not simply react to the agenda of others.”

The summit will be attended by government ministers and business leaders from South East Asia, the Middle-East, Africa, North and South America and Europe – and Fiji’s participation will add a unique Pacific perspective to the Summit.

“We will also use this opportunity to have bi-laterals with the different countries attending the summit.”

As part of this hectic visit, the Attorney-General and the Indian Minister for Finance P. Chidambram, will sign the Double Taxation Avoidance (‘DTA’) Agreement.

“The DTA between Fiji and India has been long awaited, and will create transparency and certainty, which in turn will create opportunities for investorsand bolster investment and trade between Fiji and India”, stated the AG.

He will also sign the memorandum of understanding between the Bureau of Indian Standards and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

“That this will facilitate closer cooperation and strengthen standardisation and conformity assessment activities in Fiji.  Fiji will be able to gain from the experience and expertise of the Indians in this specialised area”.

(Source: Fiji Sun)