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Review Of Tax Deal With NZ Proposed

Review Of Tax Deal With NZ Proposed
April 21
11:17 2015

A review of the New Zealand-Fiji Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement has been highlighted by Government as an area for immediate consideration and co-operation.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, has labelled the agreement as being woefully out-of-date.

“It needs revision to ensure that investors in both our countries benefit from the full range of incentives offered,” he said.

He indicated this during a seminar organised for a visiting trade mission from New Zealand in Suva yesterday.

Mr Koya said another area for co-operation is the potential for incentivising New Zealand investors to outsource parts of production processes to Fiji and other Pacific island nations.

“We believe there are comparative advantages in the region and it is sensible to a company’s bottom-line to move parts of its production process here,” he said.

Mr Koya believes if both sides can agree on the principle of equal partnership – and take actions to support it – the opportunities for trade and investment between Fiji and New Zealand have a staggering potential for growth.

“New Zealand and Fiji are natural trading partners and we must work together to reach the full potential of our relationship,” he stressed.


Open for business

Mr Koya assured the delegates that Fiji is ready to work side-by-side with the business community in New Zealand to reignite the trade and investment between the two countries which has fallen stagnant over the past few years.

“More and more businesses are beginning to understand that Fiji is not only a market of 800,000 people, but a gateway to a market of more than 10 million across the Pacific,” he said.

“This is because Fiji, as the Pacific’s natural hub, is at the centre of a region that is becoming more and more integrated – especially with the success of the MSG Trade Agreement.

“We don’t want New Zealand investors and businesses to miss out on what we consider the best trade and investment climate Fiji has ever seen.”


Trading dynamics

Mr Koya stated Fiji’s trading dynamics had changed considerably in the past few years, especially in the past 3 years, as the Pacific island countries have come out as the strongest trading partners.

“The region combined for 27 per cent of Fiji’s exports and displaced Australiasia which only accounts for 17 per cent and steadily declining,” he said.

“The Northeast Asian region now is featured in the top four export destinations.”

But he said this does not mean New Zealand as a trading or investment partner is unimportant to Fiji.

“The Bainimarama Government is fully committed to its policy of developing new markets and forging new trade relationships,” he said.

“But we are also willing to encourage re-engagement with our traditional partners in order create new trade and investment opportunities that benefit us all.

“My message is this – we welcome investment from our traditional partners and we envisage a future in being able to increase trade with Australia and New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, President of the New Zealand Fiji Business Council and the leader for the trade mission, Chandar Sen, said: “What we have arranged for our travelling delegation is a one stop shop,

“We are bringing all the agencies that provide the machinery of registering and doing business in Fiji under one umbrella.”

Mr Sen also highlighted that the 12 companies that travelled to Fiji are here to build opportunities together with the local investors.



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