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Fiji sugar interests investors

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, January 06, 2014

CHINESE investors have shown interest in purchasing 100,000 tonnes of sugar annually.

Officials from the Sugar Ministry met with a second team from China's Reserve Bank in Lautoka on Thursday and held talks on refining locally produced sugar.

Sugar Ministry's permanent secretary Lieutenant Colonel Manasa Vaniqi said the 11-member team, which included investors, had shown keen interest in purchasing locally produced sugar to the tune of 100,000 tonnes.

"They want to enter into a long term agreement with the Fiji Sugar Corporation where they are offering a price which is higher than the current price of our sugar," he said in an Information Ministry statement.

"With the Tate and Lyle contract almost coming to an end and the non-ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement, this is one of the options we are looking at.

"This delegation, like the first team, is also looking at joint venture collaboration on a refinery project. We are seeing a lot of interest in refining our sugar."

Lt-Col Vaniqi said the outlook for the industry this year was very bright with the government's commitment through an allocation of $8.4million in the 2014 budget to attend to raising production and replanting.

"We want farmers to take advantage of the opportunities and initiatives provided by government to help the industry to grow further," he said.

The delegation is also expected to meet with officials from the Ministry of Primary Industries, Investment Fiji and other stakeholders.

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