26 March, 2018, 12:00 am
FIJI wants to grow its trade and investment relations with India and this event presents a good opportunity to create awareness on Fiji’s potential and networking.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya made these comments while officiating as chief guest at the High Commission of India Business Meeting at Holiday Inn Suva on Friday.
“The Fijian Government is working towards the transformation of Fiji into a dynamic, internationally competitive economy serving as the trade and investment hub of the Pacific,” he said.
“In terms of investment, in the last three years, a total of 38 projects were registered and implemented with a value of $13,768,000 and creating 419 new employment opportunities,” Mr Koya said.
He said in realising positive outcomes in the areas of potential investment Indian investors were welcomed to invest further in the IT industry; manufacturing; tourism hotel and accommodation; renewable energy projects; pharmaceutical industry; audio visual; textile, clothing and footwear; and the construction industry.
He particularly thanked the Indian High Commissioner, Vishvas Sapkal, for his part in facilitating India’s continued support for the Fijian Government’s Micro and Small Business Grant initiative.
“Last month, a memorandum of agreement was signed for the implementation of the second phase of assistance by the Indian government. The completion of the second phase will bring the total support by the Indian government to $10 million,” Mr Koya said.
He said while Fiji and India had been trading for a number of years, there still remained potential for further growth in trade.
“Fiji generally exports gold, other jewellery, scrap metal and in some instances exported fresh and frozen tuna and wood products to India. On the other hand, Fiji imports Indian spices, sweet and savoury snacks and confectionaries, textile, clothing (fabrics and finished apparel) and footwear including handbags, jewellery, ceramic wear, hardware items, medical supplies and sporting equipment,” he said.
Mr Koya said Fiji also imported pharmaceutical products and medicines from India and noted that during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Fiji in November 2014, he had stated that Fiji could become the manufacturing hub for pharmaceuticals.
The Indian High Commission’s Business Meeting was attended by local businessmen, government representatives and stakeholders.