SUNBIZ

Lauwaki Village Celebrates Industrial Plans

  The people of Lauwaki Village in Lautoka while being handed initial lease payments to­taling $2,141,762 were told they were part of Fiji’s in­dustrial revolution. Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism,
16 Oct 2018 10:12
Lauwaki Village Celebrates Industrial Plans
Members of the mataqali Tabua and mataqali Nakete of Lauwaki Village, Lautoka with their cheques presented by the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism and Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya (centre) on October 15, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers

 

The people of Lauwaki Village in Lautoka while being handed initial lease payments to­taling $2,141,762 were told they were part of Fiji’s in­dustrial revolution.

Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Land and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Siddiq Koya said they are embarking on a shared journey towards the crea­tion of the Economic Zone (WEZ).

The area where the WEZ was earmarked is about 40 acres and is situated along the Queen’s Highway near Natabua.

The cheques presented by Mr Koya yesterday were $1.5 million to the Tabua Trust Properties Limited and $$641,762 to Mataqa­li Nakete and Mataqali Tabua.

About WEZ

“The Wairabetia Eco­nomic Zone or WEZ, will be a modern economic zone, and will support in­frastructure and utilities for large scale Informa­tion and Communications Technology (ICT) opera­tions, warehousing facili­ties and medium to light manufacturing initially,” Mr Koya said.

A multi-story, large-scale shopping complex is also planned and will accom­modate international shop­ping chains, restaurants, supermarkets, banks, day care centers and other ac­tivity based operations.

Mr Koya said this was the beginning of a partnership between the Fijian Gov­ernment and the Lauwaki community.

He said the initial lease payment (totalling $2,141,762) was the be­ginning of benefits that the Lauwaki community, greater Lautoka and the Western Division would gain from the Wairabetia Economic Zone.

“It is your commitment to the project, by leasing your land, that will enable the whole of the Western Divi­sion and the rest of Fiji to greatly benefit from.

“As per the five –Year and 20-Year National Develop­ment Plan, the Fijian Gov­ernment has made a strong commitment to develop Fiji as a manufacturing and services hub of the Pacific, and develop specialised econom­ic zones that would attract investments in these industries.”

Employment opportunities

Mr Koya 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 of Fiji.

“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.”

Mr Koya said the development was close to a large po­tential labour force and was the first of its kind develop­ment for the West­ern region.

“Apart from em­ployment opportu­nities, the commu­nity will continue to benefit from the WEZ in the long-term after its initial establishment, as there be a continue to be annual lease payments to the community for the land.

“In addition, the adjacent areas to the WEZ site, they­will receive a significant facelift and become an eco­nomic hub of the nation.

“The Fijian Government will continue to be support­ive of this community and its needs, as this economic zone development will be a prime model of efficient and sustainable use of iTaukei land for national development and commu­nity advancement.”

Mr Koya said all aspects have to be considered in the development of such large projects and it was the Government’s top most priority to protect the in­terests of the overall com­munity, including the natu­ral environment for future generations.

“This project will be un­dertaken keeping in mind the importance of con­serving our environment and balancing this appro­priately with development needs.”

He assured the people of Lauwaki Village that all re­quired assessments, such as the Fisheries Impact As­sessment and the Environ­ment Impact Assessment processes was being car­ried out properly in accord­ance with relevant laws and regulations, and re­spective recompense would be given to the land own­ers and traditional fishing rights owners.

“All appropriate assess­ments are being undertak­en and recommendations will be complied with to ensure effective mitigating measures are put in place.”

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

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