MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 08/05/13

CAPTION:?Representatives of the Ministry of Education’s Social Committee with Door mums from the Homes of Hope.?

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1.?LABOUR MIINISTER HOLDS PUBLIC CONSULTATION ?FOR NASINU -?In line with government?s commitment towards building a better Fiji and an open door policy, the Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Jone Usamate and his team of officials conducted their second public consultation in the Central Eastern Division.

 

2.?GROWTH IN TRADE FOR MSG -?The Melanesian Spearhead Group projects significant growth in intra-MSG trade for 2013 and 2014 based on statistics and positive developments. Permanent secretary for Industry & Trade and MSG Trade and Economic Officials meeting chairman, Shaheen Ali said the period 2005 to 2009 saw a substantial increase of intra-MSG trade exports rise by more than 300 per cent.

3.?MINISTRY OF EDUCATION STAFF VISIT COMMUNITIES -?Staff of the Ministry for Education, National Heritage Culture and Arts visited the Homes of Hope, St Christopher?s Home, and the Early Intervention Centre as part of their support service to the community in the first quarter.

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1.?LABOUR MIINISTER HOLDS PUBLIC CONSULTATION ?FOR NASINU

In line with government?s commitment towards building a better Fiji and an open door policy, the Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Jone Usamate and his team of officials conducted their second public consultation in the Central Eastern Division.

It was held for the people of Nasinu at the Rishikul College Hall yesterday (07/05/13) from?5.30pm to ?7.30pm.

There was a good turnout and the minister highlighted that his presence in Nasinu yesterday was to listen to the general public and facilitate the resolution of their grievances as committed by his ministry.

?My ministry ensures that its vision is achieved in ensuring social justice is provided to the people of Fiji – social justice is when the clauses in the law of Fiji says what you are entitled to and that you should get it; have a good employment relationships between employers, workers & union and have a safe and productive workplaces,? Mr Usamate said.

?My intent is to look at these issues and see how well we can work towards achieving them.?

In yesterday?s public consultation, the minister received issues concerning the terms and conditions of employment such as minimum wage, hours of work, public holidays, contracts of service, collective agreements, workmen?s compensation and productivity issues.

Mr Usamate managed to resolve most issues during the course of the meeting and those that could not be addressed at the venue, are within the ministry?s processing timeframe where he will be advising the respective citizen within a two months timeframe.

The minister highlighted that under Pillar 4 of the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress, it is his responsibility to ensure that his ministry meets the expectations of the people, so that people?s lives are not affected and mostly the public is satisfied with the ministry?s services and delivery.

Mr Usamate will meet the Lami general public today, May 8 at the Lami Catholic Parish Hall from?5.30pm to 7.30pm?and will be in Navua town at the Provincial Office this?Thursday, May 9 from 12 noon?to?2pm.

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2.?GROWTH IN TRADE FOR MSG

The Melanesian Spearhead Group projects significant growth in intra-MSG trade for 2013 and 2014 based on statistics and positive developments.

Permanent secretary for Industry & Trade and MSG Trade and Economic Officials meeting chairman, Shaheen Ali said the period 2005 to 2009 saw a substantial increase of intra-MSG trade exports rise by more than 300 per cent.

Mr Ali added that Fiji?s total trade with the Pacific Island countries has increased from less than 1 per cent in 2000 to 4.5 per cent in 2010.

Mr Ali, while opening the three-day MSG Trade and Economic Officials meeting today, said that approximately 45 per cent of this trade was now with MSG countries.

?It?s not these numbers alone that are important, it is what they represent,? Mr Ali said.

?The steady growth in trade is a result of our leaders? bold vision of a truly integrated Pacific, beginning with a truly integrated MSG.?

To this end, Mr Ali pointed out that MSG trade and economic officials needed to work towards a ?common economic union?, which is tailor-made to take into account the MSG unique characteristics.

?This will entail a creation of a ?common market?, with the free movement of goods, services, labour and capital,? PS Ali said.

The MSG Trade and Economic Officials meeting chair also added that trade and economic cooperation in Fiji formed the foundation for prosperity and growth in the region.

?Fiji has just returned from a hugely successful Trade and Investment Mission to Papua New Guinea that I have no doubt will lead to many new opportunities for both nations,? PS Ali said.

?In turn the momentum achieved from this mission, we hope, will lead to further integration between all countries of the MSG.?

Highlighting the success in trade for MSG countries, PS Ali stated countries were already on the right path with the implementation of the MSG Trade Agreement, MSG MOU on Skills Movement Scheme and Prime Minister Bainimarama?s announcement of the removal of pre-entry visa requirements for Fijians visiting PNG amongst other things.

The meeting ends?on Thursday.

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3.?MINISTRY OF EDUCATION STAFF VISIT COMMUNITIES

Staff of the Ministry for Education, National Heritage Culture and Arts visited the Homes of Hope, St Christopher?s Home, and the Early Intervention Centre as part of their support service to the community in the first quarter.

The community visit is part of planned activities for each quarter organised by the ministry?s social committee. Three different groups were delegated from each section of the ministry headed by senior officers to visit selected communities.

The ministry is adamant to ?step up? with the theme by increasing the number of social visits to communities compared to last year. ?We are committed to reach out to the unfortunate and the needy by creating community awareness and empowering them to believe they have a sense of belonging in the community,? permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said.

The door mums at the Homes of Hope were delighted to receive the gifts and goods on behalf of the children and young mothers at the home.

They appreciated the visit and described this occasion as the beginning of an early celebration for Mother?s Day for everyone at the home. Similar sentiments were shared at St Christopher?s Home and Early Intervention Centre.

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