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Seek Opportunities, PM Urges Our Heads Of Missions

Heads of Fiji’s diplomatic missions overseas have been urged to look for more trade opportunities for Fiji. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama addressed the heads of missions yesterday at Holiday Inn
18 Nov 2014 11:34
Seek Opportunities, PM Urges Our Heads Of Missions

Heads of Fiji’s diplomatic missions overseas have been urged to look for more trade opportunities for Fiji.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama addressed the heads of missions yesterday at Holiday Inn Suva during their annual consultations.

Mr Bainimarama also cautioned the heads of missions that seeking trade opportunities did not mean cheap products get flooded in the Fijian market and all transactions must be transparent and free of corruption.

“I urge all our diplomats to place more emphasis on expanding trade, finance and investment links as part of your key objectives.

“This means that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital and the missions abroad need to work very closely, directly and collaboratively with the respective ministries such as agriculture and industry and trade to name a couple.

“There is also the need to ensure that our missions are always positioning Fiji in the diplomatic circle through highlighting our national and international objectives.

“We urgently need to close the gap between our imports – the goods and services we are bringing into Fiji – and our exports, the goods and services we sell.

“This trade deficit must be reduced. On the other hand, we must also continue to source better and competitively priced imports. We cannot simply depend on our traditional suppliers of goods and services.”

He also urged heads of missions that every potential exporter or importer must be given VIP treatment at all missions overseas.

“I urge you to continue to find opportunities for Fiji. Whether it is in collaborating with new development agencies or finding financing opportunities or establishing better relationship with multilateral agencies, you must continue to push the boundaries and position Fiji.

“Don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you. You must create them for Fiji. It must be remembered though that in your pursuits, you need to always put Fiji’s overall interest first.

“So, even though an import of some cheap product may improve your KPI or tie you up with some multi-national corporation, it may be detrimental to our local industry or bring in a new disease. You cannot pursue this.

“In the same way, you must draw a line between your willingness to entice investors to Fiji and giving them preferential treatment breaching accepted standards of transparency and anti-corruption.

“We now have 18 foreign missions and two consulate offices and our global footprint is also expanding,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 


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