MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 27/08/13 4:00PM

  1. RFMF ? China strengthen relations – The People?s Republic of China and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) today achieved another milestone following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for closer cooperation and technical assistance.

 

  1. DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS DISCUSS FIJI PROJECTS – Government?s position on committing the most basic needs for ordinary Fijians was highlighted today at the 2013 Annual Donor and Development Partners Forum in Suva.

 

  1. SENIOR EXECUTIVES REMINDED OF LEADERSHIP SKILLS – Senior executives at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities were reminded of the role they play in their various lines of work and how to overcome challenges.

 

  1. Finance sets 2014 Budget Timeline – The 2014 Budget Strategy will prioritise its polices on reducing fiscal deficits, maintain capital budget at 32 percent of Gross Domestic Product and improve revenue compliance and economic activity to drive revenue for the 2014 financial year.

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1 RFMF ? China strengthen relations

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The People?s Republic of China and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) today achieved another milestone following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for closer cooperation and technical assistance.

 

The MOU was signed this morning by Lieutenant General Wang of the Peoples Liberal Army and Fijian Minister for Defence Joketani Cokanasiga at Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi.

 

In inking the milestone breakthrough between the two countries, Minister Cokanasiga highlighted the role of China in Fiji?s development.

 

?The assistance is indicative of the relationship between our two countries,? he told Lt. Gen Wang.

 

?We have seen cooperation in the various sectors of our economy including socio and economic assistance which have been rendered towards Fiji and we are grateful to have a friend like the Peoples Republic.?

 

The signing also strengthens the existing defense MOU that was signed in 2011 between the two countries.

 

Minister Cokanasiga also briefed the delegation on the bold step taken by the two countries in building strong allies.

 

Currently, two Chinese police officers are on attachment with the Fiji Police Force assisting local police officers in their daily duties.

 

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2 DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS DISCUSS FIJI PROJECTS?

 

Government?s position on committing the most basic needs for ordinary Fijians was highlighted today at the 2013 Annual Donor and Development Partners Forum in Suva.

 

The Ministry of Finance acting permanent secretary Ms Akosita Drova in pointing this out to participants also commended them for the support and role that they play in socio economic development.

 

The forum opened by the Acting Permanent Secretary for Finance, Ms Akosita Drova was attended by major donor and development partners with the objective to collectively look at ways of strengthening its partnership in order to meet Fiji?s development objectives.

 

The Acting PS said the last formal Donors Roundtable was held in 2011 where the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Voreqe Bainimarama stated that any Official Development Assistance (ODA) should bring about a transformational change.

 

?Today we are advancing the Agenda that had started from the 2011 Roundtable Meeting whereby both Government and our partners were committed to the need to ensure effective utilization of development assistance for all sectors,? Drova said.

 

Ms Drova highlighted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) IV Mission?s visit to Fiji few weeks ago where they had consultations on Fiji?s economic development and recommended that Government policy consultation and predictability should be improved.

 

?The Mission recommended that there is scope to improve communication between the government and its stakeholders to ensure broad involvement of its stakeholders in the key policy decision making process so as to build confidence in the economy and in the Governance Machinery as well,? Drova said.

 

The total ODA budgeted for by the Ministry of Finance had increased from $101million in 2011 to $139million in 2012 to $173million in 2013.

 

Another key feature of the forum was to look at progress undertaken by Fiji to meet the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals.

 

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3 SENIOR EXECUTIVES REMINDED OF LEADERSHIP SKILLS

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Senior executivesat ?the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities were reminded of the role they play in their various lines of work and how to overcome challenges.

 

Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Iowane Naivalurua who also presented at the meet said that being leaders requires commitment and the ability to make sound decisions in any given situation.

 

?Authority is vested upon leaders and we need to understand that exercising your command will create changes in your respective divisions,? Commissioner Naivalurua said.

 

?We need to understand the human factor; how will these decisions influence each officers? performance at divisional level, operational level or national level,? Commissioner Naivalurua said.

 

Commissioner Naivalurua highlighted that creating a cohesive environment and understanding every situation at your own workplaces will allow positive changes to take place.

 

While officiating at the 2-day workshop, Minister for Works Timoci Natuva echoed similar statements adding that ?to be competent leaders, proficiency in administration is of utmost importance?.

 

?We need to learn the pros and cons of administrations in order to direct decisions effectively which in turn will enhance efficiency,? the Minister added.

 

The workshop is a refresher course undertaken on quarterly basis that is aimed at up-skilling senior executives at all levels of management.

 

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4 Finance sets 2014 Budget Timeline

 

The 2014 Budget Strategy will prioritise its polices on reducing fiscal deficits, maintain capital budget at 32 percent of Gross Domestic Product and improve revenue compliance and economic activity to drive revenue for the 2014 financial year.

 

Ministry of Finance, Acting Deputy Secretary (Budget), Ms Sinate Muelaulau presented the 2014 Budget Strategy and Prioritised Sectors of Government to donor agencies, development partners, regional organisations and key government ministries today at the Annual Donor and Development Partners Forum Holiday Inn.

 

For revenue polices, the budget strategy is set to assist private sector investments and support export development in resource-based sectors and value adding such as in Forestry sector.

 

?Cabinet has approved the 2014 Budget Strategy in early July and preparations will focus on raising economic growth within sustainable fiscal parameters, promote growth friendly policies in areas of taxation and expenditure and gradual reduction in deficits,? Muelaulau said.

 

The Acting DS highlighted the continuous reviewing of government fees, fines and charges on a cost recovery basis and review of tariff bands to ensure consistency with policy objectives as some of the targets in the budget.

 

The forum was intended to lock-in donor and development partners? commitment and support in channelling Official Development Assistance to the key priority programmes for the 2014 financial year.

 

The timeline set for the budget was consultations with ministries on the strategy on ?2nd August, Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSB) budget consultation with ministries to take place from 12th -20th September, CSB meetings to finalise budget estimates from 1st -18th October and budget announcement on 8th November 2013.

 

The Annual Donor and Development Partners Forum was hosted by Ministry of Finance with the theme ?Strengthening Partnership for Development Effectiveness?.

 

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