The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, officially launched the Indo-Fiji Business Promotion Association, in New Delhi, last Friday, as an organisation to promote and facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.
The Business Association will allow the Fijian and Indian business communities to communicate directly, share market intelligence and facilitate business and joint ventures. The Association will enable the flow of technology, capital and experts.
The Attorney-General said the Business Promotion Association would contribute to improving the business and commercial relationship between Fiji and India.
“With the new tax agreement, many opportunities have emerged for both Fijian and Indian investors. This association is designed to help potential investors identify these opportunities and take advantage of them, similar to associations in India such as the Indo-China Business Promotion Association,” he said.
The Attorney-General explained that the long-standing diplomatic relations between Fiji and India has never translated into real benefits in terms of trade and investment. “Until now, there was little motivation for the business communities in Fiji and India to get together and explore new opportunities,” said the Attorney-General.
“That’s all changed. Now, the Fijian Government is serious about putting in place appropriate measures and support to encourage our business communities to take advantage of the incentives and linkages, including those that have resulted due to our visit to India,” he said.
“The foundation set by the two Governments has been elevated by the support of the business community through the formation of this Association. We look forward to revitalising a sister Association in Fiji based on professionalism and transparency”, added the Attorney-General.
The Fijian High Commissioner to India, Yogesh Karan, stated that the formation of Indo-Fiji Business Association was long awaited and will assist the High Commission in creating links between Fijian businesses and genuine contact points in India, in addition to facilitating private sector missions to India, through the Fijian Ministry of Industry and Trade and Investment Fiji.
One of the founders of the Indo-Fiji Business Promotion Association, Mr. Harsh Shani, stated that the new association looked forward to working closely with the Fijian business community, Ministry of Industry and Trade and Investment Fiji in order to realise the vast potential between the two countries.
Present at the launch from Fiji were Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Mr. Shaheen Ali, Permanent Secretary for Public Enterprises and Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Powell, Chair Investment Fiji, Mr. Truman Bradley, CEO FRCA, Mr. Jitoko Tikolevu, CEO Fiji Tourism, Mr. Rick Hamilton and Deputy Secretary, Industry and Trade, Mr. Maciu Lumelume.
Also present were Papua New Guinean High Commissioner to India, H.E. Tarcisius A. Eri and Mr. Vijay Sharma, Under Secretary, Indian Ministry of External Affairs.