CAPTION:?Attorney General and Minister for Industry Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the launch.
The opening of the new Suvavou Container Depot in Lami is a symbol of Fiji?s capacity to undertake container depot operations and the collaboration between Fijian and New Zealand business houses.
Attorney General Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, yesterday afternoon, opened the depot owned by United Containers Fiji Limited and United Containers Limited of New Zealand.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji would soon be taking advantage of its geographical location as the two major ports in the country would be managed by Aitken Spence of Sri Lanka.
A Private Public Partnership agreement was signed between Aitken Spence and the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited earlier this year to bring about efficiency and productivity in both the Suva and Lautoka wharves.
Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka?s largest logistics operator including a track record of superior performance and pioneering services covering logistic operations from container handling, cargo, courier and supply chain management.
?Aitken Spence?brings with it opportunities that we have not had before. To have the Suvavou Depot opening now does not only send the signal to them to say that Fiji is ready to collaborate with them but also it gives impetus to the entire shipping industry in Fiji. The capacity is available locally and it is a very strong signal,? Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that Government has put in place a number of policy initiatives and incentives to assist in the development of the private sector.
?We are here to provide a conducive environment for transportation, shipping and for private sector investment.
?Through the partnership with Aitken Spence, we hope to make Fiji indeed a truly transhipment point. We believe that there are numerous opportunities here and with proper port management services and systems in place, we can place and position Fiji as key shipping ports within the South Pacific region,? Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted.
United Containers Limited chairman, Mr Stuart Ferguson said the newly developed Suvavou Container Depot is the beginning of their commitment to Fiji?s future.
?Most importantly, now is our understanding that the future growth of Fijian global trade is going to be strong and will demand more from us. We embrace that future with the people and the leaders of Fiji,? Mr Ferguson said.