‘Jewel in the Crown’

By ARISHMA DEVI The opening of Fiji’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi has paid immediate dividends with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama involved in bilateral talks there. This could work to
04 Sep 2012 12:46

Fiji and United Arab Emirates (UAE) officials during the opening of the Fijian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. From left is our ambassdor to UAE, Robin Nair, Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama (fourth from right.). Garlanded, next to Commodore Bainimarama is Her Excellency the Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Reem Al Hashimi. Photo: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS & INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION


The opening of Fiji’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi has paid immediate dividends with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama involved in bilateral talks there.
This could work to Fiji’s favour because the Prime Minister is meeting some of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) influential and wealthiest leaders during his five-day trip there.
Yesterday, Gulfnews said Commodore Bainimarama met His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai.
Commodore Bainimarama discussed with Sheikh Mohammed bilateral relations between Fiji and the UAE in the fields of investment, tourism and air transport.
This was in the presence of Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Also present at the meeting were chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation and chief executive of Emirates Group, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of State, Reem Ibrahim Al Hashemi, officials and the Fijian delegation including Fijian Ambassador to the UAE, Robin Nair.
In opening the embassy Commodore Bainimarama thanked the UAE for allowing Fiji to set up an embassy in Abu Dhabi.
“I wish to express my Government’s sincere gratitude for the goodwill and assistance provided by the government of the United Arab Emirates in establishing our presence here. We are hopeful that the UAE will reciprocate and open an Embassy in Fiji in the near future.
“The opening of Fiji’s Embassy today is the latest step in my Government’s commitment to expand our engagement with the rest of the world, in particular the Middle East.
“We are a small country occupying a group of islands in the South Pacific, but we refuse to allow our size and geography to limit our possibilities or the contributions we can make to the world community. We are committed to be involved in finding solutions to international problems and to pursue productive and friendly relations with other nations,” Commodore Bainimarama said in his speech.
The Fijian Embassy is at the Eithad Towers – a luxurious five-tower complex among the high skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi. The French Embassy is also in the towers.
“Your presence here today speaks volumes of your support for Fiji, a Pacific island nation that is more than 14, 000 kilometres from Abu Dhabi,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“While service to the world community will continue to be a part of Fiji’s national ethos, we are also pursuing a more independent foreign policy.
“One that is balanced to support our economic development, and political interests; that allows our voice—and the voice of Small Pacific Island States—to be heard and respected in international forums; and that yields productive and friendly bilateral relations with other nations as we forge new friendships and strengthen existing ones.
“You are an inspiration to us. Today our nations will sign a double taxation agreement.
This agreement will greatly benefit investors from the UAE and Fijian businesses wishing to engage with the UAE. It is just the first step to building greater co-operation, particularly in trade and investment. Fiji has outstanding trade and investment opportunities in tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, timber, and mining,” he said.

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