Suva, Fiji, September 21, 2018
The manufacturing sector is often regarded as the backbone of any economy, as it drives employment, creates know how and encapsulates a much wider network of ancillary suppliers.
Being the ‘Hub of the Pacific,’ Fiji is also a strategic trans-shipment and re-export centre for cargo traded between the Pacific Island States.
Trade Agreements for access
Fiji is signatory to various trade agreements, which allow for preferred market access and provides a conducive investment climate and opportunities with other countries.
The Fijian Trade Policy Framework provides greater support to manufacturers of all industries by way of securing market access, value added promotion, trade facilitation, trade promotion and capacity building.
Manufacturing is a major sector in the economy contributing 12.7% of GDP and providing employment for 20% of the country’s workforce.
Given Fiji’s clean environment and virgin soils, potential investment opportunities exist in organic and natural food production, niche manufacturing (paper products, jewellery, furniture, automotive) and assembly for greater Pacific region including Australia and New Zealand.
Make it in Fiji
Garment manufacturers for instance, use the close proximity and connectivity to Australia and New Zealand to manufacture products at high quality and flexible runs in a just in time manner.
The Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Council “Make it in Fiji’ awareness campaign committed to sustained excellence through a process of improvement to all aspects of business operations such as quality, social accountability and flexibility promotes Fiji as a low volume niche manufacturer.
This has resulted in factories securing new buyers who want the flexibility of being able to place small orders on a regular basis and have a closer source of supply.
Raising the Profile
The “Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Campaign” initiated by the Fijian Government to promote and raise the profile of Fijian made products and produce, both domestically and internationally through a national branding strategy focuses on manufactured items, such as food (animal & vegetable products), clothing and items such as furniture and handicrafts.
Small and Medium enterprises have an advantage of producing lucrative niche products in areas such as pharmaceuticals, garments, food products, coconut virgin oil or noni juice.
Over the next five years, further improvements will be made to support business activity.
Economic Zone coming
The Government is developing Wairabetia Economic Zone in the Western Division offering ‘Plug and Play’ concept with tailor made incentives to attract investments in the services and manufacturing industries and encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in a number of new industries.
Fiji offers a market friendly business environment, sound macroeconomic policies, tax free zones, low inflation, a relatively stable foreign exchange rate and modern commercial contract laws, 20% corporate tax and a lower rate of 10% for companies listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange.
Our national airline, Fiji Airways provides excellent service connectivity across Fiji, the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, the USA and Hong Kong.
Over the last eight years, Fiji has had a strong and sustained economic growth. In 2017, Fiji had an estimated growth rate of 4.2% and unemployment rate falling to 4.5%. With 69% of the Fiji’s total population being under 40 years, and a high literacy rate of 96% the economic and social potential of Fiji’s population is high.
The continued investment in infrastructure, education and training of our workforce have implications not only for the attractiveness of Fiji as location to investors, but also for the quality of inward investment. Increased government spending on infrastructure and education, coupled with robust private sector sentiment, will support ongoing improvements in the capital stock and potential growth.
Fiji offers significant investment opportunities across a number of sectors, facilitated by stable political and fiscal environment, continuous enhancement of infrastructure, growth of the tourism industry, advantages of a young population, a first class English-speaking workforce, natural flair of services, conducive business environment and low entry costs.
As the Facilitation arm of the Fiji Government, Investment Fiji provides services and assistance to promote, and stimulate investments and exports.
The above article was supplied by Investment Fiji, Suva.