Business

Miles highlights Aust role in our economy

By JYOTI PRATIBHA Fiji’s preparation towards 2014 elections has been welcomed by many of its international partners, including neighbour- Australia. Acting Australian Head of Mission, Glenn Miles yesterday addressed the
06 Oct 2012 09:29

Acting Australian Head of Mission, Glenn Miles at the Fiji Economy Update 2012 at FNU Campus in Namaka, Nadi yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

By JYOTI PRATIBHA

Fiji’s preparation towards 2014 elections has been welcomed by many of its international partners, including neighbour- Australia.
Acting Australian Head of Mission, Glenn Miles yesterday addressed the Fiji Economy Update 2012 at the Fiji National University Namaka campus.
He informed the participants that Fiji’s progress had not gone unnoticed.
Mr Miles said Australia had welcomed Fijian Government’s March announcement on the process for constitutional consultations in preparation for elections in 2014.
He said they also noted that those consultations would be open and fully inclusive.
Mr Miles said Australia, along with other international donors, maintained they were ready to support Fiji’s return to democracy.
“The visit by a Ministerial Contact Group from the Pacific Islands Forum, which visited here in May this year, was also important,” he said.
“The MCG met with government officials, civil society and other groups and identified that progress had been made in the march towards the elections and Fiji’s transition towards democracy.
“They also recognised further progress was needed – in particular, on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of the media.”
Mr Miles said Australia remains the largest foreign investor in Fiji and informed the participants that Australia had invested an estimated $1.65 billion in Fiji last year.
He noted that two-way trade is worth nearly $2 billion in 2011, made up of trade in:
–  Trade in goods – worth $488 million
–  Trade in services – $1.4 billion, most of which is driven by the 300,000 Australian tourists that visit Fiji each year.
“Australia remains Fiji largest export destination – soaking up around 20 per cent of Fijian exports and its second largest import source,” he said.
Major Fiji exports to Australia in 2011 were gold, cereal preparations and vegetables.




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