Minister outlines ways to boost New Zealand-Fiji trade

Venkat Raman

The growing cordiality between the Fijian and New Zealand governments should lead to higher levels of bilateral trade between the two countries, a Minister has said.

“There is immense potential for cooperation in a number of fields and the incentives being offered my government should be attractive to New Zealand businesses and investors, including former citizens who are settled in New Zealand,” Fiji’s Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Governments and Community Development Premila Kumar said.

She was speaking to Indian Newslink in Auckland on September 28, 2019, during her official visit to the country.

“All of us in Fiji are keen to take our growth to the next higher level. Our government is determined to improve services to all citizens and residents and increase employment opportunities to the people of Fiji,” she said.

Incentives to foreign investors

Ms Kumar said that as well as providing incentives for foreign investors including Export Promotion Zones, tax concessions and other measures, the Fijian government is also encouraging those holding Dual Citizenship and former citizens of Fiji to invest in their homeland and become partners in progress.

“We have a young population that is highly skilled and dedicated enhancing the value of our workforce. International companies find several advantages in establishing their IT support services, call centres and other enterprises. We welcome New Zealand companies,” she said.

The following day, addressing a Conference of the New Zealand-Fiji Business Council held at Eden Park, she spoke about the existing and emerging opportunities for closer commercial and bilateral engagement between New Zealand and Fiji.

Strong Partnership

“Our partnership is stronger than ever before, as the Fijian Government is committed to re-engaging and re-defining our bilateral relationship,” she said.

Stating that Fiji is the largest trading partner for New Zealand in the South Pacific, Ms Kumar said that the two-way trade was $690 million (F$ 940 million).

“The total exports from Fiji to New Zealand for the year 2018 was $100 million (F$ 135 million), whilst import was approximately $590 million (F$ 800 million]. New Zealand has been one of Fiji’s top five import markets over the years,” she said.

Ms Kumar said that Fiji is a popular destination for weddings, honeymoon couples and tourists in general.

“More Kiwis continue to visit Fiji every year. In 2018, we received 198,718 Kiwis, an increase of 7.7%, the highest number recorded in a year. In the first seven months of this year, about 5% increase in visitor arrival from New Zealand has been recorded,” she said.

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Minister Premila Kumar (second from right) with (from left) Principle Trade Economist Virisila N Tuimanu, Fiji Trade & Investment Manager Peter James Rudd, Link2 Group Chairman & Managing Director Indra Sirigiri and Forever Shine Beauty Therapy Director Ronita Sharma in Auckland on August 28, 2019 (INL Photo)

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