Need to relook at Foreign Investment Act: Gavoka

Opposition member, Viliame Gavoka shares a light moment with Assistant Minister for Infastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Vijay Nath during break between sessions at the Parliament complex in Suva on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THERE is a need to relook at the Foreign Investment Act, says Opposition member of Parliament Viliame Gavoka. He said there had been a concern in the country that some areas that were always restricted to locals were now being opened to everyone in the country.

“If you look at our recommendation that we really need to relook at the Foreign Investment Act that perhaps some of these should be restricted,” he said.

“But maybe I am wrong in saying that because the make-up of Fiji now has changed quite dramatically.”

Mr Gavoka said in the 2017 Census, it showed the iTaukei community totalled 475,735 in 2007 and had gone down to 460,141 by 2017.

“The Indo-Fijian community was 313,798 in 2007, down to 309,711 in 2017. Others was 47,734 in 2007, now 115,035 in 2017. They have grown so significantly and I have no problems with that.”

He said a lot of those who considered themselves locals were being denied opportunities as it was being given to others.

“I am a very inclusive person, if these Others are now part of us, let us take them and embrace them as part of us, but I think it is significant that we realise this, that a particular segment of the community has increased dramatically over the last 10 years.

“When you make policies now, we must factor that into the way we plan for the future.

“As my colleague had said, in the past, there were cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, small consultant companies that were reserved for locals, but they are now free-for-all and this could be impacting on the landscape of businesses in this country.”

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