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Economic Vision: Business Climate Here More Attractive, Bainimarama Tells Fijians In Canada

Economic Vision: Business Climate Here More Attractive, Bainimarama Tells Fijians  In Canada
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama addresses the crowd during the Fiji/Canada Business Forum Dinner in Surrey, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: DEPTFO
October 06
10:54 2017

Today, Fiji’s business climate is more attractive than ever before, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He made the remarks while addressing the Fiji/Canada Business Forum dinner in Surrey, Vancouver, Canada yesterday.

He said that Fiji has taken a strategic approach to regulatory reform that was igniting innovation and preparing its economy to welcome even greater investment.

“We’ve solidified our stand in the Pacific, and we are steadily transforming the developing nation; many of you may remember into a modern nation state.

That transformation is driven by our work alongside our private sector partners.

And as part of our pro-growth approach, we are offering duty concessions, investment allowances and some of the lowest business and personal taxes in the region, Mr Bainimarama said.

He said they had set out a consistent economic vision, with policies rooted in fairness, inclusion and empowerment.

End of Dark Days

They had put an end to the dark years of instability and uncertainty – years that set Fiji back decades.

“In our journey forward, we are taking every Fijian with us.

Not only to cement our position as the hub of development in the Pacific, but to take our thriving economy to even greater heights.”

In many ways, he said Fiji and Canada were both blessed with resources that could not be bought: “Our faith in what is possible, our natural beauty and our greatest resource of all – our citizens.”

In Canada, he said many at the dinner had done very well and he knew they could all appreciate the necessity of sound fiscal planning and the vital importance of infrastructure, public services and community development for economic growth, because they had enjoyed all of that in Surrey.

Political Will for Action

He said unfortunately, Fiji’s potential was shackled for decades because they lacked the political will for action and a vision for progress – the essential ingredients for prosperity that had made Canada one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

“We didn’t have sound infrastructure or business-friendly policies and the Fijian people were not united in common purpose.

But that’s changed over the past decade that I’ve led Fiji.

We’ve mirrored the recipe for success that has carried Canada to such great heights – and the benefits have been clear and convincing.”

Redeveloped Fiji

He said just as their sea-to-sky highway connected Canadians up and down their beautiful coastline, so did Fiji’s redeveloped Queen’s Road connected Fijians down the length of its Coral Coast, from its new, state-of-the-art airport in Nadi down to its capital, Suva.

“And it isn’t just roads and airports.

We are developing an impressive network of infrastructure – bridges, jetties, ports and telecommunications – that are serving our citizens in their day to day lives and providing a foundation to sustain our economic growth.”

Promise and Opportunity

Fiji’s commitment to empowering ordinary Fijians he said was engrained into every aspect of its national development, as they worked to build the new Fiji, a Fiji filled with promise and opportunity, a Fiji for every Fijian.

According to the Prime Minister investment in Fiji has been steadily increasing for years, and now contributes a full quarter of our  Gross domestic Product (GDP), supported largely by private investment.

And those investments are seeing returns.

Over the last decade, our GDP has doubled and revenue has tripled.

“We’ve recorded eight straight years of economic growth, with forecasted growth from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)   of 3.9 per cent in 2017, and another three per cent next year.”

The Fijian people are more united than ever and Government has brought them together, under one common identity, working together, all as Fijians, in its collective mission to move the country forward.

He said they had strengthened the institutions – including Parliamentary democracy – under a Constitution that enshrined unprecedented rights for every Fijian and that served as a model for every democratic nation. Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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