Fijian expert sees hope for tourism partnership in ENB

Fiji's trade commissioner for Papua New Guinea and MSG Navitalai Tuivuniwai.

PORT MORESBY, (THE NATIONAL) – The Fiji Trade Commission sees tourism in East New Britain as an area that can be developed through partnership, says its commissioner for Papua New Guinea and MSG, Navitalai Tuivuniwai.

He was speaking during the Fiji Trade Commission Bula Wantok Investment awareness in Kokopo.

Speaking during the awareness talk to members of the business community, he said the Fiji Trade Commission, on behalf of the private sector in Fiji, would like to learn from business experiences in Papua New Guinea and it was happy to share some of the Fiji experiences and successes.

“For Kokopo, East New Britain, we can see that tourism is one of the key areas we can build and create partnership on,” he said.

“Tourism is a big industry in Fiji and there is a lot of relevance that we see in Kokopo.”

Tuivuniwai said the Fiji Trade Commission opened an office in PNG in April to link businesses to businesses or people with business relations between Fiji and PNG.

“There are a number of PNG businesses in Fiji and likewise quite a handful of Fiji businesses in PNG,” he said. The commission was in PNG not as an investor but as an organisation providing information to companies keen to do business in Fiji.

Tuivuniwai said it was their first time in the New Guinea Islands region and they visited Kimbe in West New Britain and Kokopo.

He said Fiji was a low-cost destination and PNG could find a big market in that area. The Fiji tourism industry was successful not because of its white sandy beaches, blue lagoons and tropical climate but because local people participated widely in the industry.

“It took us a bit of time to get there and there is still a lot of improvement needed but we are at a stage where we are better than 10 years ago and looking at opportunities to reform and change,” he said.