Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
17th September 2012: Fiji’s High Commissions in Canberra, Australia and Wellington, NZ have been reaching out to the Australian, Pacific Island and NZ Business Community in an effort to cultivate and promote greater trade and investment with Fiji. This is line with the efforts of the government in trying to achieve a 5 % percent economic growth per year by expanding our current export base and reducing the dependency on imports.
Fiji’s High Commission in Canberra had recently assisted the following:
• Winsol Solar: Arrangements for a scoping Mission to Fiji by German Company Winsol Solar whose goal is to develop an efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly sustainable energy plant in Fiji to complement the power supply of the FEA.
• Tourism Property: Julius Huszarek (Central Coast Eurocars) has registered interest to purchase a property in Taveuni. Mr. Huszarek plans to travel to Taveuni to inspect/negotiate purchase from the current Canadian owners.
• Vehicle Spare Parts: Mr. Janel Singh owner of JMJ Jap Import Parts is interested in establishing a similar operation in Fiji and will visit Fiji on a scoping mission.
• Food processors (Fiji) Ltd: Assistance in finding new distributors in Australia for Food Processors (Fiji) Ltd who has undertaken to market their products in Australia. Further afield the High Commission has also assisted Mr. Seemab Rasheed, Hon. Consul of the Republic of Fiji in Dhaka, Bangladesh and members of the Visual Defense Services (Airport Security) on their proposed visit to Fiji in October.
The Acting Head of Mission at our Canberra Mission Mrs. Cheryl Brown Irava and Second Secretary Jonetani Tagivetaua have also joined other business leaders from the Pacific at the 2nd Pacific Islands Investment summit held in Sydney on 13th & 14th August. The Seminar provided a useful networking opportunity for the High Commission, bringing business people with existing business interests in the Pacific (mostly PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Tonga and Samoa) and discusses issues relating to investment in the Pacific and the opportunities available to Fiji. Critical topics discussed include trends in investment in the Pacific, Infrastructure and Transport, Alternative Energy, Natural Resources, Tourism and Investment Strategies. Organisations such as World Bank, ADB, European Investment Bank, Digicel, BSP, Future Forest and many small businesses attended the event.
Meanwhile across the Tasman our High Commission in Wellington has been doing its own outreach to potential investors as follows:
• Turners & Growers Ltd Acting Head of Mission Ms. Mere Tora met with Geoff Hipkins, Chief Executive Officer of Turners & Growers Ltd on 23rd of August 2012to explore cooperation. Turners and Growers is a major fresh produce importer/ distributor and exporter in New Zealand and has the capacity to grow its Fiji import/export business. Export commodities include vegetable, fruit, lamb and chicken whilst the imports include dalo, coconuts and pineapple which has just been brought into the New Zealand market but in a small quantity. The company’s Fiji operation is very successful and there is potential to expand the product base as well as the operation.
• Start Food Tech The Acting First Secretary Mr. Niraj Mudaliar met recently with Mr. Derek Senior of Start Food Tech, a New Zealand based company to discuss their interest in exporting farming products and utensils to Fiji.
• Pacific Market Access The Acting Head of Mission and the Acting First Secretary met with Mr. Nacanieli Waqa Senior Adviser, Pacific Market Access, Fresh Produce, of the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand to discuss quarantine issues related to Fiji. Mr. Waqa a Fiji national briefed on the current impediments faced to enhance exporting of fresh produce from Fiji to New Zealand. These included the recurring issue of quality and post-harvest care. Mr. Waqa has been in regular contact with the Fiji focal point (Biosecurity Fiji) on these issues and at the time of the meeting had just returned from Fiji on an awareness trip. It was clear from the discussion that Fiji needs to step up on the quality and marketing of its fresh produce in order to be competitive and retain/expand the current market share. Mr. Waqa has agreed to cooperate with the mission on emerging issues on market access that the Wellington mission could follow up with relevant stakeholders in Fiji to enhance the export of fresh products to New Zealand.
Ms. Tora also recently joined Members of the NZ-Fiji Business Council as they celebrated their 25th Year anniversary. Ms. Tora thanked the Council for standing by Fiji during these challenging times and for the benefits Fiji has achieved through these business relations in the last 25 years.
Apart from trade and investment promotion Spouse of our Diplomats in Australia has been assisting in the cultural diplomatic work of our Mission. On 21st August, First Secretary (A/HOM) Mrs. Cheryl Brown Irava and Mr. Irava made a cultural presentation to 80 primary school children and their teachers Red Hill Primary Schoolas part of the school’s International Baccalaureate Primary Year’s Program unit of enquiry on cultures. Fiji was the only Pacific island country represented, with other members of the diplomatic corps also making cultural presentations. (Photo caption: Mr. Irava at Red Hill Primary School; Ms. Tora with current and past presidents of the NZFBC)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji