Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
5th November 2012, Seoul: All effort must be taken to ensure that foreign relations translate into development benefits.
These were the comments echoed by Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister Pio Tikoduadua as he made a courtesy call at the Fiji Embassy in Seoul, Korea yesterday.
Whilst meeting Fiji’s Ambassador to Korea Filimone Kau, PS Tikoduadua said Fiji missions based around the world play a key role in ensuring governments vision of building a better Fiji for all.
He said there was a real need to configure the support from embassies to be responsive enough to the benefits that government would like to derive from them adding missions function as the channel of communication between government and the host country, to act as the official representative of Fiji in that country, and to promote the interests of Fiji and its citizens in that country.
“There must be allowances in diplomatic missions to enable them to conduct business that will benefit Fiji in their line of work,” he said.
PS Tikoduadua said training must begin now with those eyed for postings to missions to speak t he language of their host country adding nothing was ever to o late.
“The return on investment into the missions must be realized. The components to making something successful will begin from these little things.”
“In order to carry out their work, diplomatic missions must have a strong grasp of the host country's politics, society and culture. They must be able to explain Fiji’s policies, identify potential threats to and opportunities for Fiji’s interests, and provide political and economic analysis of local conditions to inform decision-making at home. Much of the day-to-day work carried out by diplomatic missions involves promoting Fiji’s trade interests.”
“Missions must be such that they can make an instant impact wherever they are set up, particularly in the market that they will be targeting. Thus foreign relations must translate into development benefits,” he added.
PS Tikoduadua also acknowledged Korean Air for its faith in the Fijian economy and ensuring that it maintained regular flights to Fiji.
“Marketing strategies and products that we sell needs to attract the kind of things that they do. We need to understand what it is we provide that will sell and in the end lure them to take that 10hour flight to go to Fiji as opposed to going to a closer destination.”
“This is a critical link and so we all need to work together whether it is for business, honeymoon or whatever. The link enables us to do a lot of things. It is therefore a critical joint,” PS Tikoduadua said.
He said a holistic approach must be adopted because the line of communication of Korean Air is not about anyone in particular but that about the survival of government giving an option out of Fiji other than Hong Kong.
PS Tikoduadua was also joined by Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) Chief Executive Officer Aisake Taito who was in Korea to attend the International Social Security Association Conference in which the FNPF won two awards; for ‘Reforming National Provident Fund Pension Scheme’ and for ‘Promoting External Financial Literacy’.
Taito also took the opportunity to discuss with Ambassador Kau investment novelties such as Natadola which targeted Korean investors.
Other investment opportunities according to Taito included medical and health facilities
PS Tikoduadua and Ambassador Kau also met the Flying Fijians before the team’s departure to London.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji