SUNBIZ

Five Companies Awarded National Export Strategy Grants

These grants will be used solely for the upgrading of infrastructure, procurement of value adding machines, equipment and addressing storage problems.
23 Jul 2019 15:24
Five Companies Awarded National Export Strategy Grants
From left: Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali, Zonah United business partner Samir Vohra, Zonah United general manager Naheeda Maqbool, Civa(Fiji) Pearls director Claude Prevost, Minister For Industry, Trade and Tourism Premila Kumar, Paper Source South Pacific (PTE) Ltd managing director Anuraj Singh and Tropical Aquarium Fish (Fiji) Ltd office manager Shakuntla Devi on July 22, 2019. Photo: DEPFTO News

Pearl farming is a $2 billion industry globally. And Fijian pearls have been billeted as one of the best in the world.

More should be done to target investors to make the most of this lucrative industry.

This is what Claude Prevost, Director of Civa(Fiji) Pearls, had to say after receiving the National Export Strategy (NES) grant  of $88,513.63 from the Minister For Industry, Trade and Tourism Premila Kumar in Suva yesterday.

About the grants

These grants will be used solely for the upgrading of infrastructure, procurement of value adding machines, equipment and addressing storage problems.

In addition, the grants will also enable the respective companies to reach out to grassroot communities and villages who may have goods, but have no market access due to transportation problems.

Mrs Kumar said: “Generally, the assistance given is to address the supply side constraints, faced by our exporters.”

Like Civa(Fiji) Pearls there were four other grant recipients, Bula Batiki Association, Paper Source South Pacific (PTE) Ltd, Tropical Aquarium Fish (Fiji) Ltd and Zonah United.

Impact assessment

The NES, over the past 12 years, has assisted 105 projects with support amounting to over $14 million. The sectors which were assisted under the NES are the Forestry, Fisheries, Agro-business and Manufacturing.

This has led to a significant increase in export earnings, diversification of destination markets and employment creation.

As an ongoing exercise, Mrs Kumar said the ministry conducted an impact assessment of 46 companies that were supported since 2015.

The assessment revealed that majority of the grant given to these companies, were well utilised.

“This is an indication that firms have been implementing their projects in a timely manner, thus the positive outcome.

“The export sales for the firms before being assisted was $42.4 million. The export sales after being assisted by the Ministry increased to $79.6 million.

“In terms of  export sales for the firms before being assisted was $42.4 million.

“The increased export sales after being assisted by the Ministry increased to $79.6 million.”

agagsva

About Civa (Fiji) Pearls

Civa (Fiji) Pearls Ltd is currently engaged in the production, harvest and export of Pearls.

The company was assisted thtough this grant to purchase a 23 foot boat with outboard engine, spat collector lines, pocket net for reseed and for nursery.

The nursery was damaged in 2016.

Civa(Fiji) Pearls currently produces, harvests and exports pearls from their Oyster farm in Taveuni.

Such is the demand of these pearls, Mr Prevost stated, that the pearls are normally sold within half an hour of being listed at Auction houses.

He said they were still feeling the post effects of Tropical Cyclone Winston that caused havoc in 2016.

Mr Prevost said: “The growing and production of pearls is a four year cycle. We have not been able to harvest recently as we are still recovering from the damages inflicted by TC Winston.”

Though thankful of the assistance rendered by the Government, Mr Prevost believes that more should be done by the Government to develop the pearl farming industry.

”Sadly, Fiji exports less than $1 million of pearls a year globally.”

“Investors need to be attracted to Fiji that will enable the Pearl Industry to be developed further.”

The major obstacle, Mr Prevost said: “There is no legal framework for investors as a guideline of measure if they are looking at investing in aquaculture in Fiji.

He said the potential of the aquaculture industry is huge and it can help the economy grow.

After a rigorous selection process, the companies below were also chosen:

  • Bula Batiki Association will be assisted to a tune of $96,923.47 for the purchase of building materials for the construction of processing facility, product research, training and development and provision for solar facilities. This is for the production and export of virgin coconut oil, honey and sea salt.
  • Paper Source South Pacific (PTE) Ltd will be assisted with a grant of $70,374.42 to purchase a 3 in 1 – Automatic High Speed Industrial Roll Slitting Rewinder machine, for the manufacturing of toilet paper and tissues paper towels.
  • Tropical Aquarium Fish (Fiji) Ltd will receive a grant of $266,667.00 for the construction of its warehouse and processing facility. This is for exporting Aqua Cultured Rock, Coral and Ornamental Fish.
  • Zonah United will be assisted with $85,879.74 for the purchase of a grinding machine, packaging machine and a customised collection and delivery vehicle for the collection of its raw materials from interior islands and around Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The company facilitates the growing demand of their Ginger, Turmeric and cinnamon from countries such as USA and Nigeria.

Feedbackmaraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: