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Ports, Terminals to be Relocated to Ease Congestion, says Ali

Ports, Terminals to be Relocated to Ease Congestion, says Ali
Permanent secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali.
September 05
11:00 2018

Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali said that ports and terminals will be relocated to ease congestion and allow space for the increase in the number of tour­ist vessels and cargo ships coming into the country.

Mr Ali made the comment during the Questions & Answers session at the conclusion of the Fiji Chamber of Commerce & Industries Business 2025 forum at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel last Saturday.

“Fiji ports serve the purpose of moving cargo as well as people. Cruise tourism is becoming an im­portant sector in the tourism indus­try,” Mr Ali said.

“We see that now Fiji gets around 80 to 90 cruise ships at the ports of Suva and Lautoka,” he said.

“And that has become important revenue now by diversifying on tourism products we will ensure that this cruise passengers spend more.”

There is a big difference when peo­ple come to Fiji through airports.

According to Mr Ali people are greeted by world class reception un­like at the wharves where tourists find their way out into the streets.

He said there was a need to estab­lish world class cruise reception whenever any vessel calls into Fiji’s main ports.

“This is our bread and butter, we need to establish and be abreast with the pace of growth in trade and visitor arrivals when a cruise ves­sel calls into one of our ports.

“Trade is growing at a rate of five per cent annum and very soon there will be capacity limitation placed on our old resources.

“We need to ensure that we cater for that; we need to think not just five or 10 years ahead but 20 to 30 years ahead.

“We must make sure that we have the capacity for the future growth of trade, following the modern cit­ies concept where eventually the cargos operation is taken out and placed out of the city.

“This will minimize congestion and other issues. Plans are in place for cargo operations to be taken out since they are currently occupying a very prime piece of real estate.

“This is probably the most valu­able state in Suva so it needs to be taken out; these properties must be utilized to benefit all Fijians.”

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