As the Fijian Government continues to look at developing new markets for trade and investment, it will also strengthen its focus on developing cultural exchanges with her international partners.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya as he officiated at the Cultural China - Sichuan Splendid exhibition last night.
The exhibition event was organised by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and focused on showcasing the socio-cultural opportunities that the Province of Sichuan in China could offer to Fiji. A delegation of more than 50 senior personnel from the Province presented the exhibition as well as Sichuan cultural performance.
In his address, the Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to advancing Fiji’s interests on the international stage, including the Sichuan province, which is ranked highly as a premier tourism and cultural destination in China.
“The FijiFirst Government recognises the significance of connecting Fijian businesses with opportunities in global growth markets through supporting inbound missions from the various Provinces of China,” Minister Koya said.
“The Sichuan Province is one of the fastest growing regions in Western China with a population of more than 90 million and GDP of more than $925.8billion. We see real opportunities in enhancing our bilateral economic relations from this visit.”
The Minister added that Fiji-China relations had reached a new level as both countries are expanding economic ties and strengthening cultural and educational exchanges.
“Recent visits by several Chinese artistic groups showcasing aspects of their great civilization to Fijian audiences are further expanding our cultural exchanges,” Minister Koya said.
“We genuinely believe that such events will assist in building on our cultural exchange and give Fijians an opportunity to learn from Sichuan and the whole of China on how best to educate our citizens on preservation of culture.”
The Minister also commended the Sichuan Provincial People’s Congress for plans to assist Fiji through the provisions of scholarships in areas such as tourism, engineering, health amongst others.
The Sichuan Provincial People’s Congress vice president Mr Li Xianzhi said that the Fiji-China relations can expect a boost since the visit to Fiji last year by China’s President, H.E Xi Xinping. He added that since the high level visit to Fiji by His Excellency, new opportunities between Fiji and the Sichuan province could be established.
“Last November, President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to Fiji and opened up a new chapter of friendly cooperation and exchange between China and Fiji, which makes us more familiar with each other. Sichuan Provincial People’s Government and Sichuan people would very much like to take this opportunity to promote the practical cooperation and exchange with Fiji’s local government”, Mr Li said.
“Sichuan Provincial People’s Government would provide governmental scholarships to Fiji, to help with the training of talents in engineering, business and tourism, as a token of friendship from the Chinese people and people of Sichuan.”