Initiative a way that can create mutual benefit: Kumar

Transport and Disaster Management Jone Usamate, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Premila Devi Kumar and Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Belt and Road Initiative provides an opportunity for Fiji and the Pacific to engage with China in a way that create mutual benefit.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Premila Kumar who is with the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Disaster Management Jone Usamate and Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau attending the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing, China highlighted this in a statement today.

“We believe that Fiji can learn from the Chinese Government in areas, such as setting special industrial/economic zone policies and establishing zones that attracts foreign direct investments in specialised areas,” Ms Kumar said.

Since 2013, two-way trade between China and the Belt and Road partner countries increased from US1.04 trillion to US1.27 trillion. This has been possible through various initiatives that has made the movement of goods and investments easier.

She said Fiji needed to capitalise on this initiative for the benefit of Fijians, as Fiji plans to attract foreign direct investments from China. This would in return, create employment opportunities and improve the livelihood of all Fijians.

“We are engaging with distributors in China so that we are able to export more to China.”

Meanwhile the Belt and Road Initiative originated in 2013, as an effort by the Chinese Government to actively advance cooperation to build inclusiveness, mutual learning and benefits for all member countries of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Since 2013, Chinese companies such as Railway China have been actively participating in the construction of roads, port facilities and other infrastructure projects in Fiji.

Other areas of focus have been expanding regional cooperation through trade and investment agreements, people-to-people cooperation and development of other trade and investment infrastructure.

The first Belt and Road Forum was held in 2017 and attended by the Prime Minister, Josaia Bainimarama.

This year 37 Heads of State and Heads of Government and 370 Ministers from all over the world attended the 2nd Belt and Road Forum.


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