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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Another Ground Breaker for the Bainimarama Government

Another_Groundbreaker_for_the_Bainimarama_Govt10th August 2012: The official visit to Vladivostok, capital of the Maritime Province of the Russian Federation, this week by Ambassador Isikeli Mataitoga, to meet Mr. Sergey Sidorov, the First Vice-Governor and senior officials of the Territory Government there, is the first ever by senior government official from the Fiji Government. It is another ground breaking initiative of the Bainimarama Government in its pursuit of its stated foreign policy of global integration and in widening the diplomatic footprint of Fiji into territories never before reached. Fortune reward the brave.

Ambassador Mataitoga giving a gift to Mr Sergey Sidorov, First Vice-Governor of the Primorsky Territory Government after their meeting in Vladivostok on 7 August 2012.

The visit and the meeting were organized in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, as a follow up visit to Fiji, in February 2012 of His Excellency Mr. Sergei Lavrov Minister of Foreign affairs of Russia. During the Minister’s visit to Fiji, Vladivostok and the Maritime Province of Russia was nominated as the hub region from which the Russian Federation will manage its Asia-Pacific activities and outreach. Next month Vladivostok, will host the 2012 APEC Leaders Conference, which Russia is hosting.
Ambassador Mataitoga’s meeting with First Vice-Governor Sidorov focused mainly on issues of common interest and where early cooperation could be made with early dividends. The issues discussed include the following:

i)    Tourism  - both parties agree that there will be many Russia tourists willing to travel to Fiji, if tourism products, in particular adventure tourism products were promoted in this part of Russia;

ii)    The reciprocal Visa-Free arrangement earlier discussed between Minister Lavrov and our Prime Minister during their meeting in Fiji earlier in the year, will assist greatly in facilitating tourists from Russia visiting Fiji in greater numbers;and

iii)    The Territory Government would like tour operators from Fiji, to undertake promotion in the region and to attend the next International Tourism Fair they will organize.

Some of the Russian tourists who seek out adventure tourism in countries like Fiji, usually are people with money, and they usually the Russian investors to also invest in the country. They use tourism to increase their awareness of the country before they will invest.

Ambassador Mataitoga also had other meetings with the senior representative of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, business people and tour operators to seek their views about doing business with Fiji.

Fiji Embassy, Tokyo

(Photo caption: Ambassador Mataitoga giving a gift to Mr Sergey Sidorov, First Vice-Governor of the Primorsky Territory Government after their meeting in Vladivostok on 7 August 2012.)