Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
13th July 2011, Suva: Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met China's Zhejiang Province Governor H. E. Mr. Lu Zushan at the Qiantang Hall, Hangzhou City, China yesterday 12th July 2001 and discussed economic cooperation between the Province and Fiji .
In welcoming Ratu Inoke Governor Zushan thanked the Minister for his interest in visiting Zhejiang Province. Mr. Lu explicitly acknowledged the warm and friendly hospitality that was accorded to him and his delegation by the Fiji Government, in particular H.E. the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during his short visit to Fiji in 2010. He informed that his visit to Fiji last year is one that he will always cherish in his life.
The Governor fully supports and appreciates Fiji Government's position in attaching great importance to the strengthening and broadening of bilateral and economic cooperation with Zhejiang Province.
In his response Ratu Inoke thanked the Governor for the warm words of welcome and for allowing time off from his busy schedule to meet with him and his entourage. He personally acknowledged the tireless effort of Officials from the Foreign Affairs Office in Beijing and Foreign Affairs Department of Zhejiang Provincial People's Government in making arrangements for his short visit to China. He further stated that this is his first official visit to Zhejiang Province and he is already impressed with its history and natural scenery.
Further Ratu Inoke acknowledged and thanked the Governor for Zhejiang Province's kind donation of over 1000 sewing machines to Fiji Government, through the Ministry of Women. The machines have been a tool of economic empowerment to rural women in Fiji.
The Minister also seized the opportunity to brief the Governor on Fiji's commitment to its Look North Policy and Government's Roadmap to Democracy. He further highlight Fiji Government's commitment to the Election in 2014. The Minister also informed that as a genuine friend, China has remained committed to assist Fiji's development despite the current situation.
Potential Areas of Exchanges between Zhejiang Province and Fiji Government discussed by the two leaders were as follows:
TOURISMRatu Inoke informed that the Tourism Industry is Fiji's main foreign exchange earner and mainstay of Fiji's economy. Since Zhejiang Province is a tourist hub of China, there's a great potential for Fiji to explore avenues of exchanges in this area.
Responding, the Governor informed that tourists from Zhejiang Province is the major contributor to China's Outbound Tourist and there is obviously opportunities to assist Fiji's Tourism Industry.
MARINE RESOURCES DEVELOPMENTMr. Lu informed that Zhejiang Province is currently developing its Marine Resources Development Strategy in line with the recently endorsed China's Economic Strategy. He advises that marine development is a potential area of partnership between Fiji and Zhejiang Province in the not too distant future
FIJI BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT DELEGATION VISIT TO ZHEJIANGThe Governor extended an invitation to the Fiji Government through the Minister for a business delegation from Fiji to visit Zhejiang Province and explore business and investment opportunities.
He further briefed the Minister that Yiwu City - part of Zhejiang Province, boasts the largest market in the World for Small Commodity. Direct importation/buying of products from these markets at very low prices will certainly augur well in substantially reducing product prices in Fiji.
Ratu Inoke kindly acknowledged and accepted the invitation by the Governor for a delegation from Fiji to visit Zhejiang and explore business and investment opportunities. He further mentioned that he will inform and liaise closely with the relevant Minister responsible for Trade and Investment in Fiji about the invitation.
CLOSINGIn closing Mr. Lu again reiterated that there are huge potential for the two sides to explore for practical co-operations, particularly tourism, small commodities market and marine resources. He added that more and more outbound tourists from Zhejiang Province have now discovered Fiji as their newly preferred tourism destination and he hoped that this will further strengthen our bilateral and economic cooperation and people to people exchanges.
Ratu Inoke responded by once again thanking the Governor of Zhejiang Province for hosting him in China and for the fruitful and very encouraging discussion at the meeting. He welcomed any further visit from Zhejiang Province to Fiji and assures the Governor of Fiji's commitment to strengthen and foster bilateral and economic cooperation and exchanges with Zhejiang Province.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji