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Australia Fiji Business Council Lauds Historic Visit

The Australia Fiji Business Council applauds the historic visit to Fiji by the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. In a statement yesterday, the council said the visit was an outcome,
18 Jan 2019 15:07
Australia Fiji Business Council Lauds Historic Visit
From left: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Jenny Morrison, Mary Bainimarama and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on January 17, 2019. Photo: DEPTFO

The Australia Fiji Business Council applauds the historic visit to Fiji by the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

In a statement yesterday, the council said the visit was an outcome, which they had been advocating for a long time, and were delighted that the long overdue Prime Ministerial visit had taken place.

Australian business has been a major investor in Fiji’s economy for more than 100 years and currently participates in a range of economic sectors in Fiji including financial services, tourism, manufacturing, logistics and transport and health services.

Through these businesses Australian companies employ directly and indirectly thousands of Fijian citizens, thus contributing significantly to the Fijian economy and community.

The president of the Australia Fiji Business Council, Stuart Fredriksson, said council records showed this was the first bilateral visit to Fiji by an incumbent Australian Prime Minister in more than 30 years, possibly ever, excluding attendance at regional meetings.

“The Council, formed in 1986, has been a constant in the bilateral relationship and has carried the business and economic relationship through the vicissitudes of the bilateral political relationship,” Mr Fredriksson said.

“The Council has long advocated that the Australian Prime Minister should visit Fiji to promote further development of the bilateral business relationship, and we warmly support this visit.”

Australian investment in Fiji is estimated to be around AUD$1.5 billion (FJ$2.27 billion), and Fijian investment in Australia is just below AUD$500 million (FJ$759.1 million). Bilateral annual trade in goods and services including Fiji’s tourism exports and Australia’s education exports are valued at just under AUD$1.5 billion (FJ$2.27 billion).

The Australia Fiji Business Council with its partner the Fiji Australia Business Council based in Fiji arranges the annual Australia Fiji Business Forum, which in 2019, will be held in Australia in the last quarter. The Forum alternates annually between Australia and Fiji.

The council also engages in regular informal dialogue with the Australian and Fijian governments on business and economic policy issues, and is working to move that to a more formal basis.

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