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Council Anticipates Negative Impact On Australian Exports

Council Anticipates Negative Impact On Australian Exports
Naleba youth planting in the farm for food security after TC Winston.
March 30
11:13 2016

The Fiji Australia Business Council has indicated general feelings of negative impact on total exports to Australia in whatever commodity members are exporting.

Council President, Viliame Leqa, said this would be a result of the damage from the Tropical Cyclone Winston.

But majority of the impact is expected with agriculture produce that are currently under export arrangement to Australia.

Mr Leqa stressed: “Generally, we think the cyclone did not do much damage in the industrialised sector of the economy meaning Suva, Nadi and Lautoka .

“The path it took was more rurally-based, and obviously in the agriculture sector of export to Australia.”

Mr Leqa said his comments were quite general as assessments were still being carried out.

“The government is still trying to come up with factual figures and numbers as to the extent of damage in terms of cost and economic effect like export and all that,” he said.

 

The recovery process

As for the recovery process, Mr Leqa said it would vary from industry to industry getting back to normalcy.

“For instance, the agriculture sector, it could take between one to three years with full recovery taking three years,” he said.

“We don’t expect this to be an overnight thing. It depends on how quickly the recovery process takes place and on the need of the industry that has suffered.”

 

Future Plans

Mr Leqa said for future, the council plans to continue to grow, and work with the Government in terms of facilitating trade and building trade ties with Australia.

“At this time, we will work with whatever trade the governments come up with and work in from our end with our counterparts and local members who are mostly businesspeople,” he said.

 

Final thoughts

Mr Leqa noted that government is concerned with the status of how things are.

“We understand the general impact on Fiji’s economy and Government is doing all it can to work with various bodies that are involved in rebuilding our economy,” he said.

“We understand the need varies from individual needs to the rehabilitating of the economy and try to see that economy and trade gets back to normalcy.”

 

Edited By: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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