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TC Evan's impact

Ropate Valemei And Geraldine Panapasa
Thursday, December 27, 2012

THE business industry in Fiji suffered damage mounting to millions of dollars because of Tropical Cyclone Evan says Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Swani Maharaj.

Mr Maharaj said damage to infrastructure was the main impact affecting local businesses.

"The cost of damages is a hefty amount and is up to millions of dollars," Mr Maharaj said unable to provide statistics until final assessments are completed.

"For Lautoka alone, it is a big amount compared to Nadi, Tavua, Ba, Suva and other towns. Infrastructure topped the list of damage."

He said electricity and water supply were the Western Division's main problem in the aftermath of the cyclone.

"We are really worried about electricity and water.

"These form the main engine for businesses," he said.

While owners struggle to normalise their business operations, Mr Maharaj commended efforts by the government to clear debris on roads, towns and bridges.

He said this had relieved some of the burdens faced by owners to get their businesses up and running again.

"Some of the owners even lost their business because of the cyclone and they are working around the clock to resurrect them again.

"Compared to the damage and cost from the past two floods early this year, businesses faced drastic damages," he said.

"It is very difficult to estimate the cost of the damage. While some businesses are up and running again after the flood, some would normalise in a week's time.

"About 50 to 80 per cent of the businesses are running in Fiji at the moment. All businesses will normalise their operations soon."

Meanwhile, Fiji Retailers Association president Himmat Lodhia said pre-Sunday Christmas shopping in the central business district in Suva was not what they had anticipated.

"We are asking all retailers to give their best value for the festive season to shoppers," Mr Lodhia said.

"We also urge consumers to look for the best value for their money."

He said most shoppers were interested in shopping for food and grocery with supermarkets doing their normal brisk Christmas sale.





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