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Moce Mada, Craig

Moce Mada, Craig
From Left: Debra Strong, outgoing president of the Fiji New Zealand Business Council, Craig Strong, outgoing New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Mark Ramsden and Investment Fiji chief executive officer Godo Muller-Tuet on October 9, 2017. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua.
October 11
11:00 2017

Going is almost an extension of what I’ve been doing here,” said the outgoing president of the Fiji New Zealand Business Council, Craig Strong.

Mr Strong was president of the council for three years.

He will be leaving Fiji next week to join the Pacific Cooperation Foundation in New Zealand as its chief executive officer.

In his 12 years here, Mr Strong said what drove him was trying to grow with the economy especially working with the business community.

This was why he worked very closely with the Fiji New Zealand Business Council during his time here.

“This is home,” he said.

“At the end of the day we see where life and God has taken us.”

It was a dual farewell for both Mr Strong and the outgoing New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Mark Ramsden at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence on Monday night.

Below are excerpts of an interview with Mr Strong about his work with the council and his new role at Pacific Cooperation Foundation.


  1. Can you tell us a bit about your work with the council?

I reflect with pride on what the council has achieved over the past three years. I have been very fortunate to have had the support of a very active executive committee and very strong support from both the Fijian and the New Zealand Governments.

We thank the New Zealand High Commissioner Mark Ramsden and Trade Commissioner Amanda Varcoe for all their support.

As a council we have also been buoyed by the support from the Fijian Government, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism as well as Investment Fiji.

So it would be remiss of me not to thank Minister Faiyaz Koya and the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali and chief executive officer for Investment Fiji Godo Muller-Tuet and the Fiji Trade Commissioner for Australia and New Zealand Zarak Khan for all their work in forging trade facilitation between Fiji and New Zealand.


  1. What’s next for the council?

The council’s affairs are being left in the very capable hands of Vinay Narsey supported by an extremely capable and experienced executive committee.

The team has a number of monthly networking events planned coupled with the roll out of the council’s strategic plan. The strategic plan was endorsed at the annual general meeting earlier this year.


  1. Do you have any farewell message for Mr Ramsden?

The fact that both Mr Ramsden and I are being bid farewell simultaneously exemplifies in an ironic way the close collaboration between the council and the New Zealand High Commission.

It was a great opportunity for us to say Haere Ra (goodbye) to His Excellency and for me to say “moce mada” to the council.

Mr Ramsden has been a true champion for our council.

His enthusiasm for partnering with the business council and his pro activity to ensure that our members have been given every opportunity to engage with the New Zealand Government has been quite simply outstanding.

We wish him and his Whanau (extended family) all the best as they begin the next chapter of their life’s journey in Ethiopia.


  1. Tell us about your new role at PCF?

I am extremely excited at joining the team at the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and contributing significantly to the great work that they do in promoting prosperous business communities in the Pacific.


About Pacific Cooperation Foundation

PCF is an independent partnership between public and private sectors in New Zealand and other Pacific Island countries.

It aims to strengthen partnerships in both the public and private sectors, sharing knowledge and expertise to promote prosperous businesses and communities in the Pacific.




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