Sapkal: Trade, investment far below potential

Participants at the Indian High Commissioner's Business Meeting at Holiday Inn Suva on Friday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Participants at the Indian High Commissioner's Business Meeting at Holiday Inn Suva on Friday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

INDIA and Fiji has had strong relations over the years but this is not reflected in the level of trade and investment, which is far below the potential, says Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal.

“It is around $US53 million ($F107.9m) and this is far below the potential,” he said.

Mr Sapkal made the comment to this newspaper during the Indian High Commissioner’s Business Meeting at Holiday Inn Suva on Friday.

He said they were inviting local businesshouses and all the major entrepreneurs to discuss on how we could boost the India-Fiji trade and commerce.

“Which are the sectors to which we should give more prominence, what are the difficulties, and what are the solutions? So, we want consultations with the businesshouses in order to boost our bilateral trade and investment in various sectors,” Mr Sapkal said.

He said Fiji had a lot of potential in the agricultural sector and the pharmaceutical sector.

“And there is the health sector and tourism, which is another most important sector for both countries.

“We are looking towards discussing all these issues today and we’ll try to find out where we are lacking and where we need to concentrate more effort,” he said

The Indian High Commissioner said we needed to concentrate our efforts on the sectors which had a lot of potential.

“We are in the process of having a Best of India show around April where a delegation from our PHD Chamber of Commerce will visit Fiji and have discussions and we are hoping that there will be a lot of meetings then to grow our business relations.”

He said they were hoping from this meeting to grow in the areas of trade and commerce between the two countries.