Sunvoice

Editorial: Economic Zone Will Boost Economy, Employment

  The Wairabetia Economic Zone is expected to get off the ground next year and has been de­scribed as a massive investment boost for the people of Lauwaki Village, Lautoka,
16 Oct 2018 10:26
Editorial: Economic Zone Will Boost Economy, Employment

 

The Wairabetia Economic Zone is expected to get off the ground next year and has been de­scribed as a massive investment boost for the people of Lauwaki Village, Lautoka, and the coun­try as a whole.

The project will sit on 40 acres of land beside the Queen’s Highway near Miki’s Supermarket near Natabua.

Yesterday the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tour­ism, Land and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya, while handing out cheques totalling $2,141,762 to the mataqali Tabua and Nakete and the Tabua Trust Properties Limited, spoke of unlimited earn­ings through employment and lease money.

He said the WEZ would contribute to valuable em­ployment creation for locals, including from the Lauwaki community, increase export earnings, contribute to technology and skills transfer and expand the economic base of the Western Division.

The WEZ will be a modern economic zone support­ing infrastructure and utilities for large-scale In­formation and Communications Technology (ICT) operations, warehousing facilities and medium to light manufacturing initially.

The plans includes a multi-story, large-scale shop­ping complex, which would accommodate interna­tional shopping chains, restaurants, supermarkets, banks, day care centres and other activity-based operations.

ICT, manufacturing and other services related industries will create additional pillars of growth and complement the developments arising from the tourism sector and is expected to generate signifi­cant economic opportunities and sustainable liveli­hoods for Fijians.

The head of both landowning units admitted they never dreamt this day would come.

The land had previously been used for sugarcane farming, but then leases expired and the place looked like it would become another deserted area where it would soon be sold or leased to people who wanted to build their homes.

Although this would have generated some income it would not have been anywhere near the vicinity of this project of mass development.

The benefits that would be derived from lease money and the employment opportunities for the villagers are massive.

As Merewalesi Visei, head of the mataqali Tabua, said they had seen Government create development for ordinary people to benefit from and their day had come.

To see the joy and happiness on the faces of the vil­lagers yesterday was a sign of appreciation of Gov­ernment’s continued push to develop grassroots people.

The WEZ was likened to the Kalabu Tax Free Zone, but this project was expected to be a big boost to the already thriving economy of the Western Division.

One could only imagine now how this WEZ would stimulate the life of the Wairabetia area into a thriving contributor of Fiji’s growing economy.

A mataqali from the same village last year re­ceived $10,000 from Government to develop their land into a residential area, which included the in­frastructure, water and electricity.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainamarama then said that money derived from the sale of the land could be used to develop more areas for residential or commercial purposes.

Never has this type of assistance been done before and the ordinary people know it.

Yesterday’s smiles on the faces of Lauwaki villag­ers said it all.

 



FS JAB DRIVE


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