The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya says trade and investment prospects between Fiji and New Zealand “have a staggering potential for growth”.
In addressing the representatives of the 12 companies who are part of a Fiji Business Mission seminar from New Zealand, the Minister told the potential investors that “Fiji is open for business” as a hub to not just 800,000 Fijians but to 10 million in the Pacific.
He said it was encouraging to see former Fijians returning home to invest, to share their expertise, technical knowledge and skills.
“To make this easier, the Fijian Government has allowed for dual citizenship; we want you to feel at home when you come back,” Minister Koya said.
He pointed out that Fijian economy was in an expansionary phase with more than four percent growth in the last three to four years backed by significant investment in key infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports and airports through an increase in the capital expenditure budget.
“As a result total investment in Fiji has been on an upward trajectory since 2009, reaching the highest level since the 1980s which, in 2013, accounted for 29 per cent of the GDP or $2.154billion,” he said.
“It will be for the first time in Fijian history that investment will be above 25 per cent for 3 consecutive years.”
He also told the investors that they must make the most of the opportunity to invest in Fiji as it offered the best in terms of infrastructure, manufacturing base, and a stable and secure investment and trading environment.
“With the lowest corporate taxes and streamlined income tax structure, a number of tax free regions have been established on Fiji’s two main islands – Viti Levu and Vanua Levu – as well as in our maritime islands.”
New Zealand Fiji Business Council president Chandar Sen said the delegation includes former Fiji residents who now hold Fijian passports made possible through dual citizenship offered by the Fijian Government. He said the investors included those that had a net worth in excess of $0.5 million but also a multi-billion euro company.
“There are many who are from Fiji originally and it is not just about profits. They want to help the country grow and to give back,” Mr Sen said.
The four-day seminar will see key agencies such as Government ministries and statutory organisations making presentations to the delegates. Business houses from Fiji will also get an opportunity to connect with the delegates especially along the lines of partnerships.
The business delegation’s trip to Fiji was made possible through Investment Fiji and Fiji’s High Commission in Wellington working together with the New Zealand Fiji business council.