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Some Industries To Watch In 2016

The big industry in Fiji in 2016 will be tourism, which will have an exciting year, but there are a number of others that could be just as interesting to
30 Jan 2016 07:54
Some Industries To Watch In 2016

The big industry in Fiji in 2016 will be tourism, which will have an exciting year, but there are a number of others that could be just as interesting to watch.

Remittances

Not really an industry, but this is already a very big contributor to the Fiji economy, and it is destined for dramatic growth in the coming year.

The Fijian government has, over a number of years, placed a lot of importance on education and this has paid off, making Fiji a source for skilled workers for many other countries.

Last year, the government took the big step of opening the first Technical and Further Education facility and there will be twelve campuses by the end of this year.

These facilities are designed to teach very specific skills in intensive short courses, skills that are in wide demand both in Fiji and in many other countries around the world.

Tradesmen are sought after in Australia and New Zealand and the certifications being given here in Fiji are recognized there, so getting a job is easy.

And Fijians are well known for sending money home to their relatives when they are working overseas.  The remittances help the Fiji economy to grow.

Franchises

There have been a few attempts to bring franchises to Fiji and there has been mixed success.

McDonalds has been a hit from day one, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) died a slow death, all of which simply shows that a franchise is not a guarantee of success.

But they work all over the world and they do have the experience and the support to make the businesses work.

In many cases, particularly in the service areas and retail, a franchise gives the business a better chance to succeed.

There are many franchises that are well proven and many are in the tourism experience area, a segment expected to show strong growth here in the next few years.

There are also franchises in retail, fast food, recreation supplies, art and culture, music, cooking appliances and services, personal care (fashion, hairdressing, beauty, spas, exercise) and gourmet cooking products.

A good franchise gives a lot of valuable support, but learn from the experience of some failed franchisees- it is critical that you follow the program and do not become inventive.

If you are not prepared to do everything they say, save your money.

Water

There is a widespread view that with Climate Change, water will be gold.

Around the world, as the climate changes water supplies will become uncertain and water is one of a very short list of things a human can’t live without.

So demand for bottled water will grow rapidly and at current production levels the demand can’t be met.

There will be two different markets, the premium level where the water is of the purest and highest quality and the general drinking market, which will be made up of normal rainwater, arterial water, and eventually water from desalination.

This market will not happen immediately, but there is already a good volume of demand for safe drinking water.

Service centres

This concept is not new but is now on the increase and Fiji is well placed to benefit from the industry.

There are many different kinds of centers but basically they all do the same thing, they receive, sort and handle information.

It may be an airline booking service, a billing and account handling operation, a direct selling group, mail handling, in fact the services are used wherever there is a need for people to be able to call and get information or provide information.

Fiji has a high literacy level, good level of spoken English, good computer skills are taught almost universally, excellent connections to the world’s information highways such as the internet, telephones and communication cables and a safe and secure environment.

The last point is important as a great deal of confidential information can be stored at the center.

Specialised agriculture

Fiji is strategically located within short delivery times by air to Australia and New Zealand.

Both countries have a large unsatisfied demand for specialised agricultural products such as exotic fruits (pawpaw, mango, pineapple, noni, jack fruit and many other types and fresh herbs.

All of these grow very well in Fiji and are high value and low weight, making them ideal for air transport.

There already a number of suppliers in the business but there is enough market demand for many more specialised farms to enter.

Tourism experiences

Fiji’s number one industry is tourism, but the tourism experience segment is very undeveloped.

There are a number of projects either started or in the development stages, but the demand is quite large and there is a lot of room for expansion.

Things like man-made wave pools, aquariums, adventure parks, wildlife parks and bike riding and hiking trails, water adventure facilities such as jet boarding, coral viewing, sail boat cruising and many other experiences are either not available of limited.

As the tourism numbers grow there will be increasing demand for things that will fill the tourist’s day (and night) that they can talk about when they return home.

Medical tourism

In some countries this type of tourism is a large revenue earner but is still in its infancy here.

A number of Australian and New Zealand visitors have found the excellent and very low cost dental services in the Nadi and Namaka area and come here to have work done at a huge saving against costs in their own country.

Several hospitals are reviewing Fiji as an opportunity and are likely to come here in the near future.

They will specialise in procedures such as hip and knee replacement, cosmetic surgery, and other relatively simple operations as well as remedial exercise and therapy.

Fiji can offer good medical service as well as a beautiful environment for recovery.

Retirement villages

Once respected and reliable medical services are available, there will be the opportunity for retirement villages providing either full residential services or respite and vacation services for the elderly.

Worldwide, this is a lucrative business but it relies on the immediate availability of sure medical attention, which Fiji can’t offer at the present time.

There are numerous other industries such as small electrical equipment manufacture and garments that will provide opportunities in the coming year, but one thing is sure, Fiji is facing an exciting business future, and one that all Fijians should welcome.

John Ross is a Nadi-based marketing and advertising specialist with a long background in tourism. For feedback on this article, please email him: johnrossfiji@gmail.com



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