Prime Minister Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama last night urged members of the Fijian community in Sydney to consider investing in their home country and be part of an increasingly dynamic and diversifying Fijian economy.
While addressing the Fijian Diaspora at Sydney’s Holiday Inn in Warwick Farm, Prime Minister Bainimarama said it “means a great deal to me, and every Fijian, that you remain so invested in the success of our country – a country that will always be home for you”.
“Our cities are modernising, services are becoming more available and reliable, our networks of infrastructure and consumer choices are expanding, businesses are growing bigger, and higher paying jobs are being made available,” he said.
“Young Fijians are stepping into an economy where their most ambitious dreams can become a reality, and they are making themselves heard in a democracy where their rights cannot be infringed and their voices cannot be silenced.
“For years, I’ve urged our Fijian diaspora to take up their role in the great story of Fijian progress to build industries through the ingenuity of the Fijian people and to capitalise on the growth of increasingly dynamic and diversifying economy.”
With the introduction of the new digitalFiji programme, Prime Minister Bainimarama added that applying for new businesses by any Fijian in any part of the world has undeniably been made easier.
“Under the digitalFiji umbrella, we’ve already launched an online “biz Fiji” portal. The portal gives you all the information you need, to turn a bright idea into a brand-new Fijian business.
“Our latest national budget identified key areas for growth, giving businesses every reason to expand into new arenas and grow their existing operations.
“Stamp duty on offshore borrowings has been eliminated, Fiji Airways is upgrading its fleet to consolidate its position, and open new markets and also expand import and export cargo capacities, zero fiscal and excise duty on building materials for new hotels, and the marketing grant to Tourism Fiji standing strong at $30 million.
“Our incentive package for ICTs no longer carries any minimum requirements, and the licensing fee has been removed entirely, loss carried forward has been extended from four to eight years for all businesses and 100 per cent of employer contributions to FNPF are now tax-deductible, among other initiatives.”
The Prime Minister also dispelled rumours of Fiji’s financial capacity and reassured the Fijian Diaspora that our economy is viable and healthy as never before.
“Our country is not what it was fifteen years ago. We’re capitalising on our prime geographic position, transforming our nation into a funnel for investment and technology,” he said.
“We’re supporting businesses to allow for cashless transactions and utilise e-payment gateways to step into the world of digital commerce. For those who are considering reclaiming your Fijian citizenship, we’ve just received our new Fijian e-passports last week. As you know, under my Government, we now allow for Fijians to hold multiple citizenships.
“The benefits of that offer are now bigger than ever, as these new e-passports allow for seamless, efficient travel in the world’s airports and immigration systems for our people, while strengthening the security of our own borders as well.
“You may all be settled in Sydney, but your Fijian pride beats as strongly in your hearts as it does in the hearts of Fijians across our islands today.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and his delegation will meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a church service tomorrow morning.