Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen
Ni Sa Bula
Thank you for hosting me and my Delegation today.
Strengthening relationships and cooperation with the US Chamber of Commerce to enhance business opportunities for both Fiji and USA is one of this highest priorities importance to my government.
We have Fijian entrepreneurs seeking US markets and more importantly partnerships with US companies.
We urge US Government to fast track the reauthorization of the Generalised System of Tariff Preferences and we urge the administration to add products such as virgin coconut oil, sugar, fish, kava, mahogany and other products that are important to our small holder producers
We welcome US business interest and investment in key economic and growth areas including the Tourism Sector, BPO, food & agriculture, and basic materials manufacturing.
The BPO sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Fiji. We have a young, educated, tech savvy, English speaking workforce that has a neutral accent.
Fiji’s Tourism sector has rebounded from the COVID 19 pandemic with high visitor numbers. The total number of international visitor arrivals to Fiji in July 2022 was 78,638 and this represented 81% of visitor numbers when compared to July 2019. The US is one of Fiji’s key source markets for Tourism which had 42,002 visitors from the period January to August 2022, and which accounted for 11% of Fiji’s visitor arrivals.
Fiji offers investors a unique pristine environment with the focus on sustainability and zero-net emission 2050 target.
My government has over the past 5 years has been undertaking reforms to improve doing business processes. This includes the revision to the Investment Act and related regulations, to allow for modernization of the investment framework, which is able to adapt to the changing investment environment. Furthermore, the new Act provides clear indication to investors the vision and objectives of the Fijian Government, the objectives and responsibilities of the investor and government. In order for a foreign investor to invest in Fiji now only needs to register with the Registrar of Companies and tax registration, which can be done online.
Fiji is the first Pacific Island Country that has been invited be part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The IPEF and is a Framework that aims to enhance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness of partner countries, and I am pleased that my government had the opportunity to shape the Ministerial Statements following the extensive technical discussions that took place.
Raising from today we hope to have more regular interaction between our countries, by appealing to your Chamber of Commerce to strengthen US and Fiji relations, and importantly strengthening trade and investment between our countries.
We have a Fiji Trade Commission, based in Burlingame, San Francisco with the main aim of promoting and facilitating trade and investment between our countries. My Government will give full support to explore investment and trade opportunities through the Trade Commission and Investment Fiji, our Investment Promotional Agency.
We have investors who are currently investing in new projects in Fiji, as an example we have a US businessman who is investing hundreds of millions into tourism developments and has our full attention.
Some examples of successful businesses who have been able to leverage Fiji’s unique proposition in the US market include Fiji Water and our National Airline, Fiji Airways.
I thank you for your time and the opportunity to meet you here today. My team stands ready to support the Chamber of Commerce member and potential Investors where necessary.