Plans by ministry to improve ease of doing business

Indian High Commissioner to Fiji, Vishvas Sapkal (left) hands over the cheque of $m2 plus to the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar. Picture: RAMA

WE have different categories of business and Fiji wants to attract investors, especially blue chip investors and not just any investor.

These were the comments made by Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government and Community Development Premila Kumar on Monday during an interview with this newspaper outlining her plans for the ministry in the coming months. “In the coming months, there are a number of projects undertaken by the ministry and one such area is the ease of doing business here in the ministry,” Ms Kumar said.

“The idea is to make work more simple and reduce the time span which often takes investors to get all the approvals.”

Ms Kumar said it was going to take more time because the idea was to digitalise the ministry and use digital platform where approvals could be given by the various sectors at a shorter time span than what it is now.

She added small businesses have to go through the same approval process as big businesses and the ministry is looking at ways at categorising businesses so that smaller businesses don’t have to have a longer waiting time.

“Sometimes smaller businesses don’t really require that level of approval but unfortunately we have got only one system and everyone has to go through that system. Now we want to create two separate systems.”

Ms Kumar said they wanted to eliminate processes that were not required in the systems.

In the area of investment, Ms Kumar said the idea was to look at the various investment sectors that were listed as a activities that businesses or investors could do.

“So we want to review that legislation and provide more clarity to the new investors who are coming to our shores.”

Ms Kumar said that in terms of investment, it was the work of Investment Fiji who were there to promote Fiji as an investment destination.

“There are a lot of opportunities and one can look at the housing sector now where we would like to attract investors to come to our shores and provide low cost housing to the public.”

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