The ICT Sector also offers attractive opportunities
Fiji is the ‘Hub of the Pacific,’ and with increasing trade and investment opportunities, it is more important to New Zealand than ever before.
Earning its place on New Zealand’s Top 20 trading partners worldwide, Fiji has had consistent economic growth for the past nine years across all sectors such as Manufacturing, Agriculture and Tourism.
There are also attractive investment incentives, such as tax free regions and low corporate taxes and world-class infrastructure to assist in encouraging new investors from overseas.
The ICT sector in particular has had tremendous success in Fiji.
According to the Sydney-based Fijian Consul General and Trade Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand Zarak Khan, “Fiji is the best kept secret as the next emerging global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) offshoring destination.”
He said that Fiji has made significant gains in attracting ICT investors from around the world to establish their operations in Fiji, taking advantage of a well-trained and highly qualified workforce in the ICT and BPO sectors.
“These sectors now employ about 5000 Fijians and contribute about 10% to Fiji’s GDP. The fundamentals of the Fijian economy are very strong to enable this continued growth trajectory and take the ICT and BPO sectors to their next phase of growth. New Zealand based ICT and BPO companies are well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities,” he said.
Culture of Hospitality
Auckland based Trade and Investment Manager Peter Rudd said that Fiji’s hospitality-oriented culture and naturally friendly Fijian accent have received very positive feedback from New Zealand clients.
“Our clients range in size from very large businesses who are looking to find a reliable, high quality workforce to manage their customer service, to small businesses who are simply looking to streamline their business processes. The ICT sector in Fiji has grown immensely over the last decade with the number of internet users increasing fourfold,” he said.
This natural advantage, or the ‘Bula Spirit,’ gives Fijians something to differentiate themselves and appear favourable to New Zealand businesses, along with the country’s strategic location and close cultural ties.
The Fijian population is young and educated with a literacy rate of about 96%.
Companies have begun to realise that Fiji can offer much more than simply answering a phone call, but carry out complex tasks in specialised areas such as Finance, Insurance, IT, and Marketing.
Potential to grow
Most ICT and BPO facilities in Fiji have the potential to staff more employees to keep up with the increase in clients. Most of them operate round-the-clock.
For instance, multilingual ICT and BPO operator MindPearl, with a strength of more than 1300 employees, receives calls from all around the world for clients such as Malaysian Airlines, Swiss International Airways, and DHL Express.
ANZ also has an extensive presence in Fiji with more than 400 employees at their BPO operations in Suva. Recoveries Corp Ltd, a Melbourne-based debt recovery service provider, employs close to 200 staff in Fiji, taking advantage of the close cultural linkages between Fiji and Australia as well as strong English language capabilities.
Other large global clients to whom Fijian ICT and BPO operators provide customer support include Vodafone, Fiji Airways, Lebara Mobile, Anaconda, Spotlight, DHL Express and Digicel.
There are still many opportunities for new ICT/BPO businesses in Fiji as low retention rates in New Zealand greatly increases hiring and training costs.
In Fiji, the retention rate is much higher, making it easier to manage these businesses.
Fiji is positioned as a prime location for New Zealand companies keen on outsourcing their call centres and back-office functions.
New Zealand is currently experiencing a severe labour shortage in this line of work and Fiji has a young, dynamic and competitive workforce. They are English-speaking, hardworking and well-educated people with a high literacy rate.
The BPO Council of Fiji has been established to contribute towards attracting investments and policy developments in the ICT and BPO sectors.
Fiji’s prominence in the ICT sector has been recognised by the UK and European outsourcing markets after it won the European Outsourcing Association’s ‘Offshoring Destination of the Year Award’ in 2014, beating strong competition from many countries, including South Africa, Portugal, and Sri Lanka.
For more information, please contact Peter Rudd by email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our helpful staff at the Fiji Trade Commission located at Level 26, PwC Tower, 188 Quay Street, Auckland. Website: www.investinfiji.today
Fiji Consulate General and Trade Commission Australia and New Zealand is the Sponsor of the ‘Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Category of the Eleventh Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2018, entries to which are currently being evaluated by an independent Panel of Judges. The Awards Night will be held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland City. Tickets priced at $172.50 (including GST) and Tables seating ten persons at $1725 (including GST) per table are now on sale. Please call (09) 5336377 or 021-836528 for bookings and more information.