Stakeholders discuss economic recovery

US ambassador Joseph Cella, left, Minister for Commerce, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya, with stakeholders at a press conference in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Fiji’s tourism industry might not recover 100 per cent from the impacts of COVID-19, according to the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya.

He revealed this during a press conference at the US Embassy yesterday, where other relevant sector leaders, multi-lateral allies and partners had gathered to have a round table discussion on Fiji’s economic recovery.

“The reality is we would probably get back to 70 per cent of what we were before and that 70 per cent would be that new 100 per cent in terms of the industry,” he said.

According to Mr Koya it would require more collaborative thought process to get the country where they wanted to not just from the government but from all the different sectors of the tourism industry.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get together to have this round table discussion.

“I think one of the most important things that come out of it and the most important word that comes out of it is collaboration.

“So it was a great opportunity and this would continue to happen and this is a great thing for Fiji because we are being thought about,” he said.

Mr Koya added Fiji was in a wonderful position with respect to COVID-19 and moving forward with respect to doing business outside of Fiji.

“And for us the rules may change in terms of how we do business overseas, rules of trade may change, what opportunities are going to be availed to us and the diversification that is going to be required to take us back to where we want to.”

The US Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu, Joseph Cella, said they had a very robust dialogue among sector leaders.

“We did an international WebEx dialogue with colleagues of the state department that are charged with stimulating business and investment between our countries,” he said.

“We had the state of Texas represented who have spotted opportunities here as well, we been having conversation with other states in the United States who are keen in coming here and doing bilateral trade investments.

“This model has existed before with other countries but this is a unique time to lead and have a robust dialogue as to where we are at in the economy.”

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