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Private And Public Sector Collaboration Critical For Growth And Sustainability

The Fijian Government strongly believes collaboration between the private and public sector is critical for the continued growth and sustainability of the Fijian economy.  The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism,
22 Jun 2018 15:46
Private And Public Sector Collaboration Critical For Growth And Sustainability
Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Faiyaz Koya speaking at the 2018 Top Executives Conference

The Fijian Government strongly believes collaboration between the private and public sector is critical for the continued growth and sustainability of the Fijian economy. 

The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Faiyaz Koya said this while officially opening the 2018 Top Executives (TOPEX) conference at Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Nadi.

“We have said this over and over again, the private sector is the engine of growth, whilst the Government is the provider of adequate and enabling environment that allows businesses to flourish,” Mr Koya said.

“Hence, the theme of this year’s TOPEX conference “Change and Transition, Readiness and Resistance”, is highly pertinent, as we require resilience and innovation now more than ever.

“In order for a transition from an economy dependent on a few sectors to a more knowledge-based and multi-sector driven economy, we need to change.

“For example, there will be changes to rules and regulations to enable this transition, and there will be some resistance to change.

“However, by working together we will understand each other’s issues and address any matters amicably for the long-term future of the nation.”

He said the need to work together, has been highlighted by the Prime Minister at the global stage, whilst presiding over COP23. 

“Dialogue or Talanoa is vital for not only achieving a global consensus on climate issues, but it is crucial for the continued sustainable growth of our domestic economy,” Mr Koya said.

“We strongly believe that the growth trajectory of the past eight years can be maintained through continued partnership and discussion in an atmosphere of respect and co-operation. 

“The five year and 20-Year National Development Plan (NDP) which sets the vision of “Transforming Fiji” and maps out the way forward for Fiji to realise its full potential. 

“This forward-looking plan has socio-economic development at its core to empower every Fijian. 

“The NDP is also aligned to the global commitments that Fiji has made in terms of sustainable development. 

“The Fijian business community has a very important role to play in “transform Fiji” towards a unified, prosperous, inclusive and progressive modern nation,” Mr Koya said.

He also highlighted the Fijian economy is on track to realise its ninth consecutive year of economic growth in 2018–unprecedented in Fijian post-independence history.

“The economy, on average, has grown by over four per cent in the last five years,” he said.

“Per capita income in 2017 stood at over $12,000, almost doubling from $6,419 in 2006. Unemployment was recorded at the lowest in 20 years of 4 per cent.  Literacy rate of 93 per cent is an all-time high. 

“The economic growth is fueled by building and construction activities, tourism sector, sugar, agriculture and manufacturing, to name a few.

“In order to continue growth in a sustainable manner, the Fijian Government announced several initiatives and policies to diversify our economy. 

“These initiatives will ensure that the economy is robust and resilient to external shocks. 

“One such initiative is the Wairabetia Economic Zone (WEZ).  WEZ is intended to attract investment in the ICT, Audio Visual, light manufacturing, and high-end retail sectors to name a few.”

The Fijian Government, Mr Koya highlighted was putting in the initial infrastructure and investment in the Zone.

“The Fijian Government will continue to provide budgetary for the developments,” the Minister said.

“The second stage of developments will begin in the next financial year. 

“In addition to the site development the Ministry is working closely with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) on a new incentives package, which will be provided for businesses establishing in the Zone.

“The latter phase of the WEZ project will involve negotiations on a public-private arrangement for the effective and efficient management of the Zone.

Work with IFC

“The Ministry is working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on reforms of the doing business processes. 

“One project under this partnership is the review of the investment policy and the legal framework.

“This is to modernise our investment framework to be adaptable to the changing business environment. 

“The concept of the proposed new legal framework was shared with stakeholders in February 2018. 

“The draft policy and law will be circulated by August 2018 for stakeholders comments.”

In supporting the manufacturing sector, Mr Koya said value addition would be incentivised, in resource-based sectors such as forestry, fisheries and agriculture.

“We can achieve greater growth by ensuring that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are also provided with the opportunity to participate in global value chains.

“We have recently hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Joint Commissions Meeting for the East Asia, Pacific and South Asia for the first time. 

“Fiji emphasised the need for long-term sustainable growth of the tourism sector.

“In this regard, diversifying in other market segments, such as Sports Tourism, Spa and Wellness, cruise and the MICE segment are vital. 

“The Government will continue to facilitate a enabling environment for the growth and long-term sustainability of the tourism sector, through incentives and sector specific policies.

“Coming back to the theme of TOPEX, I wish to re-emphasise that partnership and dialogue are crucial for the sustainable long-term growth of the Fijian economy. 

“I look forward to continue support from the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation in making this partnership work.”

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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