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Fiji Time: 6:43 PM on Thursday 17 April

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A-G calls for investor confidence on land

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, December 03, 2013

THERE is a need to change people's perception of iTaukei land, especially investor reluctance to do business on this valuable resource.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said it was important that the relevant authorities "lift their game" so that confidence in investing in iTaukei land was restored.

"In Fiji, we have so many issues, people are saying it's iTaukei land and we don't want to really invest in that, we only want to invest in freehold land," he said.

"We need to change that habit, people should be able to come in despite the fact that it's iTaukei land or that it's State land, they should be confident to invest in that land.

"But in order for that to happen, we ourselves as government, as the iTaukei Lands Trust Board, as the Lands Department, as the Ministry of Town and Country Planning and people in the private sector need to lift our game."

Speaking at the Institute of Valuation Estate Management of Fiji's annual conference, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said members could play a valuable part in ensuring the full potential of an investment made in a piece of land is returned to all stakeholders, including landowners.

He said now that all forms of land were protected under the Bill of Rights of the 2013 Constitution, the valuable resource should be considered an important asset.

"So we can now move on to use this very valuable resource as an asset because land is an asset irrespective of who owns it," he said.

"Once land is recognised as an asset, then we can have the growth of real estate, then we can have the growth of the valuation of the land.

"Then you can have the growth of the economy."