Negligence leads to additional scrutiny

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism permanent secretary Shaheen Ali. Picture: FT FILE

OVER the years the negligence of certain container service providers has led to consignments from Fiji being subjected to interception and additional scrutiny at international borders.

This was revealed by the chair of the Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd and permanent secretary for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali at the 25th anniversary of United Containers Fiji Ltd in Walu Bay on Friday.

Mr Ali said it was encouraging to note that Fijian industries were diversifying into new areas, such as container depot and hygiene services and had capitalised on the forward-looking and pro-growth policies of the Fijian Government.

“This success story not only demonstrates the ability of Fiji to provide services to international shipping lines, but also depicts an effective collaboration between Fijian and international businesses.

“It is simply a perfect example of how Fijian businesses are able to stamp its mark in the international arena,” he said.

Mr Ali said the provision of container depot service was an important component of the supply chain, as it played an important role in facilitating trade.

“It is due to the types of services provided by agencies such as UCFL, which include: cleaning, repairing, pre-shipment inspections, to name a few, that consignments from Fiji are accepted at their final destination.”

Mr Ali said it was vital for all providers of depot and container hygiene services to comply with industry best practices and standards.

“It is you, the operators, who need to ensure that standards and quality of service is maintained and that Fiji’s status as a regional hub is not compromised. The vision to further strengthen Fiji’s position as a modern transportation and transshipment hub is set out in the five-year and 20-year National Development Plan.”

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