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Fiji – Japan Trade Increases

Fiji – Japan Trade Increases
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya (left), presents Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Katsunori Takahashi with a Tanoa at the Fiji-Japan Trade Symposium at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on July 10, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers
July 10
10:00 2018

Trade flows between Fiji and Japan grew from $152.6 million in 2013 to F$257.5 million in 2017, representing an increase of 69 per cent.

On an average, trade between the two countries had gradually increased at the rate of 21 percent each year, for the past 5 years.

These comments were made by the Minister for Trade, Investment and Tourism, Faiyaz Koya during the Fiji-Japan Trade Symposium at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa yesterday.

Also present at the symposium were Japan’s Vice Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport Katsunori Takahashi, Japans Ambassador to Fiji Masahiro Omura and Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan Isikeli Mataitoga.

Mr Koya said Foreign Direct Investment was a connection between the two nations as well.

“A total of 15 Japanese projects were registered for the period 2013 to 2017 with a total worth of approximately $16.9 million.”

He said 48 percent of these projects had been in the services sector.

“Today’s event marks an important milestone to the growing trade and economic relations between Fiji and Japan,” he said, adding that this was the first Japanese Trade and Investment Mission to Fiji.

“At the outset, I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our Fijian Embassy to Japan, for their unwavering commitment to help us realise this important Mission.”

He said the seminar would provide the necessary information to better understand the Fijian business climate, the opportunities and incentive that existed, and the overall vision of the Fijian Government in terms of its development aspirations.

“We share common characteristics such as culture, geographical constraints, and above all, being prone to the impact of Climate Change and natural disasters.

“Which is why, during the Honourable. Prime Minister’s visit to Japan in May for the PALM 8, discussions took place with Hon. Prime Minister Abe, to enhance bilateral trade and investment, as well as, people-to-people exchanges.

“To this end, our countries continue to discover new areas of partnership and pursue common interests.”

He said Fiji today was the strongest, most innovative and the most united it had ever been.

“We are the hub of the Pacific – the hub of trade, business, transportation, logistics and communications and we have done exceptionally well over the past decade, as seen quite clearly through the strengths of our economy.”

“Fiji is working towards becoming one of the most business-friendly destinations in the region, with its pro-business policies.

“Year after year, we have welcomed more and more new investors into Fiji and seen businesses grow. The big boost in the business activity has dropped our unemployment rate to the lowest recorded in 20 years.”

Last week Fiji Airways began a direct three flights a week to Tokyo in Japan which Mr Koya said would not only ease the movement of people but would also create opportunity for export of fresh fruits and vegetables amongst other products.

Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan Isikeli Mataitoga (left) at the Japan-Fiji Business Symposium at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on July 9, 2018.

Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan Isikeli Mataitoga (left) at the Japan-Fiji Business Symposium at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on July 9, 2018.

He said Fiji’s pro-growth, forward-focused and sustainable policies of the Fijian Government were due to:

 the opening of the new Nadi International Airport complex and the direct flights between Fiji and Japan

its strategic location in the South Pacific as the hub of the region and provides the best connectivity – both air and sea – as well as advanced communication technology and a well-established manufacturing base.

Capital expenditure by Government which has enabled increased accessibility to markets, as access roads, bridges and ports have been developed

Expansion of ports for more efficiency and upgrading our national infrastructure to a new climate resilient standard

extending essential services like water, electricity, telecommunications and internet to every corner of the country.

Modernising the communication infrastructure, such as 4G plus connectivity around Fiji and internet access in approximately 80 percent of the country

The maintenance of a robust investment climate through the consistent and pro-business incentives provided.  These include, corporate tax of 20 percent, streamlined income tax, tax concessions to encourage investment in ICT, clean energy and manufacturing.

Free education and loans and scholarships in tertiary education

Establishing of a fully serviced manufacturing and services zone in the western division to attract investments in the ICT, technology-driven industries and manufacturing. This would stimulate economic activity and diversify the economic base and provide “plug and play” facility and tailor-made incentives for investors.

“The time to invest in Fiji and expand our trade has never been better than now.”

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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