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PM to Australians: Now Time To Invest In Fijian Market

PM to Australians: Now Time To Invest In Fijian Market
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (centre) at a luncheon with the Victorian business community on May 26, 2018. The Fijian delegation at the private event included Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia Yogesh Punja (sixth from left) and Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister Yogesh Karan (far left). Photo: DEPTFO News
May 28
15:11 2018

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says unprecedented economic growth and a skilled workforce means Fiji’s market conditions are “ripe” with investment opportunities.

Mr Bainimarama’s comments came as part of a keynote address on Saturday at a luncheon with the Victorian business community and a senior Australian Government trade official.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama giving his keynote address at the business luncheon in Melbourne, Australia on May 26, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama giving his keynote address at the business luncheon in Melbourne, Australia on May 26, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

The Prime Minister urged the gathered community of Australian business leaders to consider investing in the Fijian market, stressing that the country was more than just a tourist destination.

“The world is taking notice of the progress Fiji is making, and here in Victoria, you are uniquely positioned to take part in the very exciting development taking place back in Fiji,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Australian investment in Fiji rose to $1.33 billion last year, a statistic Mr Bainimarama attributed to incentives designed to make the Fijian market attractive for foreign investors.

“Fiji offers a number of targeted incentives to foreign investors that will be of great interest to those in this room,” he said.

“Our corporate tax rate stands at 20 per cent, a figure that becomes even more attractive if a foreign company establishes their headquarters in Fiji, dropping to 17 per cent. And if the company is listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange that rate is lowered even further to just 10 per cent.”

Mr Bainimarama singled out the maritime areas as particularly attractive, due to many being declared tax-free regions.

He urged the Victorian business community to visit Fiji to fully realise “the untapped potential and beauty of these areas.”

“New areas of our country are becoming accessible to various modes of transportation, and we have laid the infrastructure to support sustainable and resilient growth throughout Fiji, far and wide,” he said.

“Those of you in this room are well-versed in recognising white space where it exists– and I can say with full confidence, Fiji has plenty of opportunity to be seized upon.”

It was also an opportunity for the Prime Minister to reveal first-hand the economic movements in the country.

He said: “On the back of our economic success, we’ve increased disposable income and our foreign reserves have reached record highs.

“Year after year, we’ve welcomed more new businesses to Fiji; businesses are growing, and more Fijians are starting businesses of their own.

“And that big boost in business activity in Fiji has dropped our unemployment to the lowest rate recorded in 20 years.”

He said investments made by his Government was unrivalled in Fiji’s history.

“We’ve poured resources into infrastructure; in fact, when it comes to capital expenditure, my Government has invested more than double the amount of all other governments in Fiji combined,” Mr Bainimarama said

“We’re developing new roads, airports, bridges and jetties. We’re massively expanding our ports and making them more efficient.

 

We’re developing new roads, airports, bridges and jetties. We’re massively expanding our ports and making them more efficient. We’re upgrading our national infrastructure to a new standard of climate resilience, and we are extending essential services like water, electricity and telecommunications to every corner of the country.

As of April this year, Fiji’s foreign reserves stood at FJ$2,185.2m, according to Reserve Bank of Fiji statistics.

Mr Bainimarama said this was a testament to how “rapidly” Fiji’s economy was growing, saying the the trend would continue through 2019 and 2020.

“On the back of our economic success, we’ve increased disposable income and our foreign reserves have reached record highs,” he said.

Year after year, we’ve welcomed more new businesses to Fiji, businesses are growing, and more Fijians are starting businesses of their own.

“And that big boost in business activity in Fiji has dropped our unemployment to the lowest rate recorded in 20 years.”

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia Yogesh Punja speaking at the business luncheon on May 26, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia Yogesh Punja speaking at the business luncheon on May 26, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

Huge potential

He said there was huge potential in business process outsourcing,

“Not only is the Fijian workforce talented, we are also English-speaking, and BPO services in Fiji are available at one third of the price found here in Australia,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“On top of that, our networks of telecommunications are reliable, they are strong, and they are growing.

“And in certain zones in the coun try, we are offering a ten-year tax holiday for Information Communication Technology operators, and tax holidays for ICT accredited training institutions and for companies working in app design and software development.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama addresses questions posed by the Victorian business community on May 26, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News .

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama addresses questions posed by the Victorian business community on May 26, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News .

Exciting growth

Mr Bainimarama said: “I think the prudent eyes of the proven business people in this room will recognise that the market conditions are ripe with opportunity; aside from our unprecedented economic growth and a workforce that is more educated and skilled than ever before, we are seeing Fiji’s economy diversify in exciting new ways.”

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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