‘Need more foreign direct investment’

Government plans to increase investment further and therefore, an increase in foreign direct investment is needed, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Premila Kumar. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

TOURISM makes up about 38 per cent of Fiji’s gross domestic product (GDP) while private investment makes up only 15 per cent, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Premila Kumar.

Mrs Kumar said the Government planned to increase investment further, therefore, an increase in foreign direct investment was needed.

In her interview with fDi Intelligence, she said an enabling environment was needed to attract more FDI.

“In that context, we would like to develop special economic zones with a plug-and play mechanism where the investor can come in and start a business. The focus of these zones would be more on manufacturing, which at the moment accounts for about 15 per cent of GDP.

“We are looking at the garment industry, at water bottling, cosmetics — these are all opportunities to develop our manufacturing sector. At the same time, we are looking at making our foreign investment law more flexible to attract knowledge-based industries such as BPO.

“We do realise that one important area for us to work on is capacity building — we need to upscale our workers, and we have various universities in the country that are assisting us in developing the right minds and hands for the jobs of the future,” she said.

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