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Nadi Chamber Congratulates New Parliament

Nadi Chamber Congratulates New Parliament
September 25
10:21 2014

We are naturally delighted with the election results and wish to first of all congratulate the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama for his outstanding leadership, commitment and vision for a better united Fiji.

We hope to see the continuation of the many policies, reforms and programs that will help grow the economy further.

We should be seeing more economic activities and sustainable growth. This gives an incentive and inspiration to locals and overseas alike to invest and re-invest in Fiji confidently.

The private economic growth and expectation looks very bright. It’s a dawn of a new era.

Nadi town as one is quite familiar with its flood-prone situation and we have witnessed two devastating floods in recent times (Jan 2009 and March 2012) that crippled the town.

Steadfastly, the business community bounced back with help and assistance from various reforms and packages offered by banks and other stakeholders.

The Bainimarama Government came to the rescue very quickly offering all forms of assistance, including financial packages especially for the Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) through the Reserve Bank of Fiji and others.

We are awaiting further flood mitigation measures; awaiting further developments but immediate concerns are river dredging and widening.

We are aware of the retention dams already constructed in the upper river streams and if these could be expanded will be more useful and beneficial – sources of fish and irrigation.

We are aware of the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Report of the past and again now. They are actively engaged in studying or conducting further research to be completed by mid 2015. This has to be supported by all stakeholders

Denarau Bridge construction is likely to commence shortly and we are hoping this can be expeditiously completed.

Road reconstruction and four-lane road is already progressing  and we would like to see this completed as soon as possible.

We would also like to see the construction of overhead passes or walkways, bus shelters, roundabouts, footpaths and bicycle paths to be incorporated in the entire road reconstruction.

This also means road and street lights, road humps etc to ensure maximum safety for motorists and pedestrians.

The private sector

The private sector is the main engine of growth and we have constantly engaged with the Bainimarama Government for the past eight years.

The Nadi Chamber was the first to start business forums and we have organised numerous business forums (2-3) every year.

We plan to continue more assertively and continue engaging with all the ministries with the prime aim of ‘growing the economy’.

We have also engaged with Nadi Town Council (NTC) on a regular basis . We feel more can be achieved in the near future and we would also like to see the appointment of a Nadi Town Council chief executive. This position has been vacant for a while.

Areas of concern

Nadi is growing robustly but we feel certain infrastructure developments is not keeping pace like water, sewerage and waste disposal.

Sewerage disposal at certain areas in Nadi River, which also includes Port Denarau, is emanating foul smell. It’s also dangerous to marine life and dangerous (health hazard) to people swimming, bathing and washing clothes

Safety and Security issues keep cropping up, despite assurances from the Police and other stakeholders. We would like to see positive commitments with more manpower and other resources to keep track of all criminal intents

Martintar and Namaka are two satellite suburbs that needs special attention. Both these areas are growing rapidly and various problems have been identified and in particular the special tourism zone is not achieving the purpose it was designed for.

Many drunkards who are all locals are seen early hrs of the morning harassing innocent people going to work or taking health walks or runs and they are also seen urinating and vomiting in the public.

The special tourism zone and hours of operation of the night clubs therefore needs to be reviewed as soon as possible.

On budget submissions, the Nadi Chamber wishes to submit certain proposals for consideration for the forthcoming National Budget.

I’m also spearheading the formation of Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry that is likely to materialise later this year.

Our role is to represent the interests of the entire Western Division and work closely with the Bainimarama Government to look at developments, etcetera.

Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Highlight the following for due consideration:

– Tourism – more funds or budget allocation for marketing
– Airline routes to be reviewed more from Asians to Fiji. Direct flights to Tokyo, mainland China and other Asian cities be explored, also India.
– Back Packer resorts and hotels be given some priority as ecotourism is another potential.
– Medical Tourism- This is another important untapped potential but we need to have a super tertiary hospital built in the West.
– Yachting, large passenger cruises to be encouraged and our potential to attract them should be maximised.

– Film Industry – this needs to be revived after promising start. Attractive rebates and packages will lure back production of films in Fiji
– Sugar and Agriculture likewise to be given priority for obvious reasons. The reforms on Sugar seems to be working well which should be fast tracked and – upported. Sugar production needs to be increased and all idle lands to be farmed again with various incentives.
– Valley Road tar sealing is already paying dividends but or area neglected is the village of Nasau and Koro Koro. Nasau is home of National Youth Farm and there are many vegetable farmers here.

– Nadi- Sports City of the South Pacific should be seriously considered as apotential to attract many international sporting events to Fiji including an International Sevens.
– Health and Medical Care. National Health Insurance Schemes to be implemented without much delay. GP’s throughout Fiji should be tasked to take over primary health care needs of the community rather than health centres and hospitals.
– Tobacco Free Fiji. Calls have been made by top health authorities and I have also re-iterated that Fiji should be declared a Smoke Free Nation.
– One Stop Shop and ease of doing business remains to materialise and fast tracked.

– Dr Ram Raju is the Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry president.

 

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