EARLY DEBT REPAYMENT – NEW BEGINNING? FOR FIJI PINE

Caption: Fiji Pine Executive Chairman, Faiz Khan presenting the cheque for $2.4million to the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

By Ashtosh Singh

Fiji Pine, the state-owned enterprise has paid off a loan it recently secured from Government to clear a 28 year debt.

Just three months ago, Fiji Pine borrowed $2.4-million dollars from Government to finally settle a loan it obtained from the European Investment Bank in 1985.

Its recent financial performance has been such that the Executive Chairman of Fiji Pine, Faiz Khan, was today able to hand the money back when he presented a cheque for $2.4-million to the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.

The Prime Minister commended Fiji Pine for the prompt repayment. ?I can?t recall another occasion when a state-owned enterprise has paid off an outstanding amount to Government so quickly. It?s a great credit to the Board, management and workers and a clear sign of the success of our reform program at Fiji Pine?, he said.

Mr Khan said Fiji Pine had long been burdened by past failures but was gradually turning its fortunes around and guaranteeing a sustainable future for the enterprise and its workers.

?We made record profits in 2011. And while we have endured an unprecedented slump in the wood chip market over the past 18 months, our marketing strategies will ensure more stable demand for our products into the future?, he said.

Fiji Pine workers were also singled out for praise by the Attorney General and Minister for Public Enterprises, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who said they had worked hard with the Board and?management to achieve??an outstanding result?.

?What we are seeing is proof that our public enterprises can thrive if employees, management and Government work together cooperatively for the common good. This is all good news for those dependent on the industry and for the Fijian economy as a whole?, he said.