First Franco-Fijian Business Dialogue Opened by A-G

The first Franco-Fijian Business Dialogue was officiated yesterday by the Acting Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. The event was hosted by the French Ambassador Sujiro Seam at his residence in
11 May 2018 10:05
First Franco-Fijian Business Dialogue Opened by A-G
Acting Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (third from right), officiated at the first Franco-Fijian Business Dialogue hosted by the French Ambassador, Sujiro Seam (second from right) at his residence in Suva on May 10, 2018.Photo: Maraia Vula

The first Franco-Fijian Business Dialogue was officiated yesterday by the Acting Prime Minister, Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The event was hosted by the French Ambassador Sujiro Seam at his residence in Suva.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum commended Mr Seam for taking the initiative to have the dialogue as previously the France-Fiji relationship was only seen as a diplomatic one.

He said there are a number of opportunities that actually do exist in Fiji for French companies in particular.

He highlighted there is a lot of potential in terms of areas of business and this is because of Government policies and the vision set by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He said it is also being propelled by the fact that Government is looking and thinking outside the box.

He noted examples such as the previous Government services that are now being outsourced.

For example, he highlighted roadmaking, he said it was all done inhouse (Government) and now they have outsourced it to the Fiji Roads Authority and also New Zealand companies.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there is a lot of potential for French companies in that space.

The dialogue was attended by  representatives from French companies currently operating in Fiji as well as potential investors and their Fijian counterparts.

Mr Seam said: “When I was appointed the ambassador of France to Fiji six months ago, economic diplomacy became a high priority for me.

“If you ask about economic diplomacy, it’s about convincing French companies to consider Fiji as a business destination.

“It’s also about assisting French companies to grow their activity here in Fiji and it’s about developing a network of French and Fijian actors.”

He said it was a perfect time to launch the Franco-Fijian dialogue.

“It provides a platform for French and Fijian economic actors to discuss business issues leading to the development of more and better Franco-Fijian business.

“My vision is to have three to four meetings a year, those meeting are designed to address thematic issues such as business environment, regulatory matters, tax matters, business in infrastructure, sustainable development, food products new technology, financial services and regional business.”  French company VINCI Construction Grands Projects International Water Works project engineer Bastien Brun said: “I am here for two weeks, basically French Companies  do believe  there are business opportunities in Fiji.

“My mission here for two weeks is to see what is available and not avaiable, what has to be developed and what has to be taken into consideration to be able to bid for projects in Fiji.

“We are currently on a bidding process with Water Authority of Fiji on a water treatment plant project in north of Suva (Laqere).

“We hope to be cost efficient and we hope to win the bid for the project that will allow us to set up a VINCI agency in Fiji

“It is a great opportunity to be amongst people present here today.”

While presenting yesterday, Governor of Reserve Bank of Fiji Ariff Ali said  the Macroeconomic Committee that is responsible to forecast Fiji’s GDP is made up of a number of institutions including the RBF, Ministry of Economy, Fiji Revenue & Customs Services, Investment Fiji, Ministry of Industry & Trade, Fiji Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport and the PM’s Office.

The Committee is currently in its first round of forecasting for this year.

He said the forecasts would be released today.

Under the current system, there are 21 sectors and approximately 170 sub sectors of the economy that the committee forecasts directly – line by line.  The Committee carries out two rounds of forecasts in a year.

This type of extensive forecasting is not done by any other institution in Fiji.




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