Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
10th May 2011: Successful Dual Citizenship seminars by the Fiji Consulate that were held in Sydney and Melbourne have been very well received by attendees. The Seminars were held on the 30th April in Sydney and 1st of May in Melbourne.
Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama in an address to the seminars said that the dual citizenship efforts were having positive results.
“The dual citizenship initiative was introduced in 2009 and last year alone the Department of Immigration processed over 800 applications from our Fiji diaspora residing all over the world,” said Bainimarama.
“A good example of our diaspora making a significant positive impact is Mr Dev Mishra who is at present constructing a F$3.5 million factory at Nadi to produce electronic diesel fuel pumps using state-of-the-art technology.”
The Prime Minister also invited ex Fiji citizens at the seminars to return to Fiji to share the knowledge they had gained.
“Today, if there is one message I have for you; it is to invite you all to return and invest in building a better Fiji.”
“By taking up this initiative, not only will you be rekindling your bonds with the country of your birth but you will be sharing your invaluable expertise, experience and skills gained abroad.”
“Others in the diaspora community are keen to invest in sectors such as agriculture, real estate, tourism, IT, manufacturing and service industries.”
The Prime Minister also said that those that applied for dual citizenship to invest in Fiji would not only assist the government to improve economic development and infrastructure, but they would also be providing benefits for the economy and younger generations of Fiji. “Your commitment to return and contribute positively will help the Government achieve its desired economic development goals and assist in creating better opportunities for the future and for our younger generations.”
“You will help in creating employment for our well educated young people and when more people are working, there will be more spending power, more demand, more sales, more profits and this creates a healthy economy where everyone benefits.”
“Your contributions will also assist the Government in providing for infrastructure developments, to build more roads, better schools & hospitals, modern airports, wharves and a telecommunications network which in turn will expand the production capacity of Fiji’s economy and make it more attractive for other investors to follow suit.”
He added that the efforts of Fiji nationals overseas to invest in Fiji would make Fiji a force to reckon with on the global stage.
“All of you have the potential to make a valuable contribution to Fiji’s future by giving Fiji a rich combination of new and innovative ways of thinking, broad intellect, and new ways of doing things that will fuel our collective prosperity and allow a small population to punch above its weight on the global front.”
The Sydney seminar featured presentations on Dual Citizenship by Ms Taranaivini Savou of the Immigration Department, Tax Incentives by Mr Fazrul Rahman, National Manager of FRCA and by My Ariff Ali, Chief Manager of RBF.
The second installment of the seminars in Melbourne was held at the Chandler Room of the Jika International Hotel in Fairfield and the Fiji Consulate was assisted by Ms Tepola Raicebe, Radio announcer with SBS in Melbourne.
There was wide publicity done in Sydney with advertisements appearing in the 3 Fiji focused newspapers namely The Australian Fiji Times (weekly newspaper) The Fiji Times and Navtarang (monthly newspapers). Apart from the newspapers, the seminar was also widely publicized in the 2 local radio stations, Radio Skid Row and Navtarang. It was also publicized on the RaiVision website.
The publicity in Melbourne was done through the SBS Radio Stations in the Fijian language, Hindustani and Urdu. Personalized invitations were also sent out to the leaders of each Fiji community in Melbourne.
The seminar was very well received by those that attended in both cities. The Sydney participants were mainly business people and professionals while those who attended the Melbourne event were planning for their retirements. Two Melbourne participants however, had shown great interest to invest in Agriculture in Labasa and manufacturing in Suva.
The presentations generated a lot of interests and many of those attended were convinced that Dual Citizenship is offering great opportunities to come back home to either to retire or invest.
The seminars have already shown positive feedback as within four working days after the Sydney seminar, 10 serious enquiries seeking assistance for filling application forms were assisted by this office.
More applications are expected to be lodged shortly as word of mouth spread fairly quickly around Sydney and Melbourne. The Department of Immigration has now confirmed that 75% of the 854 applications received last year originated from Australia.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji