DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 20/04/15 4:30PM

1. ?FIJI OPEN FOR BUSINESS?: MINISTER KOYA – The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon Faiyaz Koya says trade and investment prospects between Fiji and New Zealand ?have a staggering potential for growth?.


2. FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER PARTICIPATES AT JAKARTA MEET
– The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia to attend the 60th Commemoration of Asian-African Conference and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership in Jakarta and Bandung from the 19 to 24 April 2015.


3. PACIFIC INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE MADE VISIBLE THROUGH PUBLICATION
– ?Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom: Themes in the Pacific Islands? is a publication that celebrates and promotes the visibility and vibrancy of Pacific culture, explained the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary Mr Savenaca Kaunisela when launching the publication at the Pearl Pacific Resort on Thursday the 16th April, 2015.


4. EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN PARLIAMENTARY TIES BETWEEN FIJI AND KOREA
– In a bid to strengthen ties between the Parliament of Fiji and the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with Korea’s National Assembly?s Chairman of the National Defense Committee, Mr. Hwang Jin Ha in Korea last week.

5. Government TO assist SMEs with e-marketing CAPABILITY – In a globalised world where internet marketing is fast becoming a core source of strengthening business performance, the Fijian Government has begun working with stakeholders to provide this for the country?s small and medium enterprises or SMEs.

6. Nakorovou Village Drainage Improvement – Villagers of Nakorovou village in Rewa can now breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the drainage improvement works carried out by the Land and Water Resource Management Division [LWRM] at the Ministry of Agriculture.


1. FIJI OPEN FOR BUSINESS: MINISTER KOYA

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya says trade and investment prospects between Fiji and New Zealand ?have a staggering potential for growth?.

In addressing the representatives of the 12 companies who are part of a Fiji Business Mission seminar from New Zealand, the Minister told the potential investors that ?Fiji is open for business? as a hub to not just 800,000 Fijians but to 10 million in the Pacific.

He said it was encouraging to see former Fijians returning home to invest, to share their expertise, technical knowledge and skills.

?To make this easier, the Fijian Government has allowed for dual citizenship; we want you to feel at home when you come back,? Minister Koya said.

He pointed out that Fijian economy was in an expansionary phase with more than four percent growth in the last three to four years backed by significant investment in key infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports and airports through an increase in the capital expenditure budget.

?As a result total investment in Fiji has been on an upward trajectory since 2009, reaching the highest level since the 1980s which, in 2013, accounted for 29 per cent of the GDP or $2.154billion,? he said.

?It will be for the first time in Fijian history that investment will be above 25 per cent for 3 consecutive years.?

He also told the investors that they must make the most of the opportunity to invest in Fiji as it offered the best in terms of infrastructure, manufacturing base, and a stable and secure investment and trading environment.

?With the lowest corporate taxes and streamlined income tax structure, a number of tax free regions have been established on Fiji?s two main islands ? Viti Levu and Vanua Levu ? as well as in our maritime islands.?

New Zealand Fiji Business Council president Chandar Sen said the delegation includes former Fiji residents who now hold Fijian passports made possible through dual citizenship offered by the Fijian Government. He said the investors included those that had a net worth in excess of $0.5 million but also a multi-billion euro company.

?There are many who are from Fiji originally and it is not just about profits. They want to help the country grow and to give back,? Mr Sen said.

The four-day seminar will see key agencies such as Government ministries and statutory organisations making presentations to the delegates. Business houses from Fiji will also get an opportunity to connect with the delegates especially along the lines of partnerships.

The business delegation?s trip to Fiji was made possible through Investment Fiji and Fiji?s High Commission in Wellington working together with the New Zealand Fiji business council.


2. FIJIAN FOREIGN MINISTER PARTICIPATES AT JAKARTA MEET

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola is in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia to attend the 60th Commemoration of Asian-African Conference and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership in Jakarta and Bandung from the 19 to 24 April 2015.

The conference is being attended by 1800 registered participants that include 25 leaders from 90 countries.

Minister Kubuabola took the opportunity to congratulate the Indonesian Government for hosting he Commemoration Conference. He also conveyed the apology of the Hon. Prime Minister for not being able to attend the meeting together with his well wishes for the successful Conference.

Hon. Minister Kubuabola also took the opportunity to have a bilateral meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, H. E. Retno L. P. Marsudi on Sunday prior to the commencement of the Conference.

During their meeting the Hon. Minister Kubuabola among other matters invited the Hon. Marsudi to attend the 3rd PIDF Summit to be held in Fiji in August 2015 as well as to their Joint Ministerial Meeting and the 3rd Coordinating Policy Dialogue.

He also acknowledged the support of the Indonesian Peace and Security Center for accepting the invitation to have joint programs for training between the Fijian and Indonesian peacekeepers. He also looks forward to further collaboration in this regard.

The two Ministers also discussed efforts to further deepen the existing cooperation and people-to-people contacts. They also agreed to oversee the timely implementation of the various Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) that had been signed between the two Governments.

Minister Kubuabola expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to him and to his delegation.

3. PACIFIC INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE MADE VISIBLE THROUGH PUBLICATION

?Traditional Knowledge and Wisdom: Themes in the Pacific Islands? is a publication that celebrates and promotes the visibility and vibrancy of Pacific culture, explained the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary Mr Savenaca Kaunisela when launching the publication at the Pearl Pacific Resort on Thursday the 16th April, 2015.

The event coincided with the Pacific Intangible Cultural Heritage Meeting on revitalizing dormant Intangible Cultural Heritage (dance, songs, music, traditional crafts and skills) in the Pacific from the 16 to 17 April, 2015.

The publication marks a milestone and represents the collaborative efforts of Pacific expert practitioners, an idea that was initiated at the fourth sub-regional networking meeting in April of 2013. In introducing the content, the Permanent Secretary acknowledged that it highlights a number of traditional practices and customs including methods for open water navigation, agricultural techniques and stories of communal reconciliation, the very heart of Pacific traditional wisdom and knowledge as transferred through many generations.

He thanked the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia Pacific Region (ICHCAP) Korea, the authors from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Tonga and Vanuatu and various other individuals for allowing the publication to take form. This consultative approach allows people who live and practice their ICH skills to present themselves and their ICH element.

In celebrating this achievement, the Permanent Secretary implored that this must be the first of many similar publications.

This publication will be a source of knowledge to many within the region and around the world, more importantly for researchers who visit us for research materials when Mr. Kaunisela received the book at the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs with his Deputy Secretary, Mr. Saimoni Waibuta on Friday 17 April 2015.

The book which will be kept at the Ministry?s Institute of Language and Culture Library encourages better understanding for our cultural practices reinforcing its relevance and safeguarding it from being lost from our communities.


4 EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN PARLIAMENTARY TIES BETWEEN FIJI AND KOREA

In a bid to strengthen ties between the Parliament of Fiji and the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ratu Inoke Kubuabola met with Korea’s National Assembly?s Chairman of the National Defense Committee, Mr. Hwang Jin Ha in Korea last week.

Mr. Ha who is also the President of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) Parliamentarians? Union said he was honored that Fiji has considered the National Assembly of Korea as a model parliament that Fiji could aspire to.

He added the Assembly had a lot to offer to Fiji especially in administrative and parliamentary affairs.

Minister Kubuabola said that a request had been made for the establishment of the Fiji/Korea Parliamentary Association aimed at fostering closer relations between the two parliaments and to share experiences in parliamentary processes including exchange visitations by parliamentarians of the two countries.

He also extended an invitation to Mr Ha to visit Fiji in the near future.

5 Government TO assist SMEs with e-marketing CAPABILITY

In a globalised world where internet marketing is fast becoming a core source of strengthening business performance, the Fijian Government has begun working with stakeholders to provide this for the country?s small and medium enterprises or SMEs.

This was highlighted by the Assistant Minister Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Lorna Eden at the launch of the pilot project for e-marketing support workshop for SME?s Tour and Activity Operators today.

?Our Government is working in partnership with South Pacific Tourism Organisation to pilot this project and this workshop follows the vision of our Fijian Government to enhance sustainable growth and economic contribution of both small and medium tour and activity operators in Fiji,? she said.

?Through this workshop we hope to enhance marketing and business viability of all small and medium Tour and Activity operators by improving their e-marketing capabilities.?

The project is being implemented within the framework of the Pacific Regional Tourism Capacity Building Programme, in partnership with the European Union through SPTO and Fiji has been selected as the first country in the region to benefit from this pilot project.

Fiji has been a member of SPTO for 27 years and Hon. Eden believes that through the workshop, participants would be empowered to use of the digital platforms currently available to reach their customers more efficiently thus increasing online visibility.

The second workshop will be held in Savusavu next week.

(Photos from this event can be accessed at the Fijian Government?s Facebook page)

6 Nakorovou Village Drainage Improvement

Villagers of Nakorovou village in Rewa can now breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the drainage improvement works carried out by the Land and Water Resource Management Division [LWRM] at the Ministry of Agriculture.

The drainage works is a combined effort by the Ministry and the Central Division Drainage Board in partnership with the Commissioner Central?s Office and the Office of the Prime Minister.

Provincial Administrator [Rewa] Josevata Suka said the village has faced health related risks due to stagnant water which could only be improved through drainage works.

?Water in the village drain cannot flow out to the newly constructed floodgate leaving creek in the village stagnant. In the last three months the water instead of getting out of the flap gate remains stagnant and it is a health threat to the people of Nakorovou village,? he said.

Mr Suka said the Ministry for Health conducted a clinic and raised concerns for the prevention of skin diseases and dengue. In line with Government?s commitment, the safety of Fijians living in here was the main factor of the intervention.

Director for LWRM, Colin Simmons said, an integrated approach was taken for the drainage improvement works to address agricultural production, social and environmental problems faced by the villagers.

?The Central Division Drainage Board will remove the old collapsed flap gate structure constructed in the 1970?s upstream of the newly constructed floodgate that is blocking the flow of water into the main drainage networks.?

He added the network downstream of the structure will be de-silted to improve the flow to drain out the contaminated water.

?The floodgate door will be kept open to allow fresh water to enter into the network during the high tide which will then flush out the system during the low tide.

?Government is committed to ensuring that rural communities affected by drainage problems and environment hazards are protected and this intervention will bring relief to the community,? he said.

PRESS RELEASE