MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 5:00PM 02/08/13

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1.?????FIJI READY FOR MSG INVESTMENT ROADSHOW AND TRADE FAIR?-?Fiji?s Ministry of Industry and Trade is confident that the inaugural Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair, which will be held from?3-7 August 2013, at the Sheraton, will boost regional trade and business among Melanesian countries.

 

2.?????5738 SENIOR CITIZENS BENEFITTING FROM SOCIAL PENSION SCHEME?- Government?s social welfare assistance program is now benefitting more than 5000 senior citizens nationwide.

 

3.?????PUBLIC URGED TO ACCESS MEDICAL ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE FOR CANCER DISEASES?- 70 percent of people with cancer in the country present themselves at the later stages of the disease making treatment and recovery difficult.

 

4.?????KADAVU PRESENTS LABOUR QUERIES TO MINISTER?– Issues relating to Occupational Health and Safety were presented to Labour officials when they toured the Province of Kadavu this week.

 

5.??????INVESTMENT FIJI? APPROVES TEAM FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT?-?It is?announced today that ?Investment Fiji? has issued a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC) to Worldwide Hart (Fiji) for the Dream City project located in Yaqara on 5,500 acres.

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6.????GRANT TO BOOST WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS??- Opportunities to empower women around the country received a financial boost when Government approved a grant of $5,000 to the Vanuakula Mother?s Club and $1551 to the Fiji Girl Guides Association.

 

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1?FIJI READY FOR MSG INVESTMENT ROADSHOW AND TRADE FAIR

 

Fiji?s Ministry of Industry and Trade is confident that the inaugural Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair, which will be held from?3-7 August 2013, at the Sheraton, will boost regional trade and business among Melanesian countries.

 

?This inaugural event will build on existing strong trade and investment links amongst the MSG region, in line with the vision of our leaders to move the MSG steadily towards a prosperous economic union?, said the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Mr Shaheen Ali.

 

?The event will seek the improve business environment and create favourable conditions to facilitate intra-MSG trade and investment?, added Mr. Ali.

 

?Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in trade among MSG countries; in fact exports have increased by more than 300%.? In 2012, Fiji?s exports to MSG countries was around 7% of its total exports, with enormous potential to increase further. The MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair will provide the catalyst to enhance trade amongst the MSG countries,? said Mr Ali.

 

To launch the event, a Trade and Investment Seminar will be held on?Saturday, 3August 2013, to discuss and explore opportunities for our region?s manufacturers and producers, to grow and develop their businesses, leading to sustainable growth for the region,? he said.

?Key decision makers and relevant Ministries from the MSG region will participate in the Seminar providing the business community direct access to contribute towards a conducive and streamlined regulatory and business environment, increasing the ease of doing business in the region.?

 

Over 40 companies and investment approval agencies from all the MSG countries will participate in the Trade exhibition as part of the event.? Companies include manufacturers, retailers, TCF industries, furniture producers, agro-producers, pharmaceutical firms, consultancy companies, financial institutions, and many more? added the Permanent Secretary.

 

The event will be held concurrently with the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), taking advantage of the presence of the 23 Pacific nations and 10 observer partners, to promote the goods and services produced in the MSG.

 

?The event also provides an opportunity for MSG businesses to learn from each other?s experiences, and form long term partnership creating a strong Melanesia that will form the cornerstone for a strong Pacific?, said the Permanent Secretary.

 

The MSG Investment Roadshow and Trade Fair will be launched by His Excellency, President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, on?Saturday, 3 August 2013, and will be attended by the Attorney General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and other Ministers from the MSG region.

 

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2?5738 SENIOR CITIZENS BENEFITTING FROM SOCIAL PENSION SCHEME

 

Government?s social welfare assistance program is now benefitting more than 5000 senior citizens nationwide.

 

Administered through the Ministry of Social Welfare, the assistance program is derived from the new Social Pension Scheme and is benefitting 5,378 Fijians who are above the age of 70 years.

 

The Ministry?s permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta pointed out that interested applicants need to meet eligibility requirements.

 

?Senior Citizens who are 70 years and above can apply but there is a category; only those who are not recipients of superannuation like Fiji National Provident Fund, government pension and after care fund and are not receiving social welfare assistance through Poverty Benefit Scheme or Care and Protection Program, only these people qualify for the Social Pension Scheme?

 

?Forms are available in our divisional and district welfare offices and people can apply by filling in this form, and ensuring that it is certified by civil servant or community leader and submit with two passport photos,? Dr Koroivueta said.

 

He said the senior citizens in the maritime areas namely Kadavu, Lau, Lomaiviti, Rotuma have also been assisted with the monthly Social Pension Scheme.

 

?This is primarily done to ensure that there is an even distribution of the social pension scheme amongst the senior citizens in the urban areas and those in the rural and maritime areas. A total of 177 senior citizens have been assisted in the maritime areas? Dr Koroivueta said.

 

?Those senior citizens who are eligible and are applying for the social pension scheme should submit their applications with their birth certificates and also provide their bank account numbers so that when applications are approved payments can be done immediately,? he said.

 

The Social Pension Scheme was allocated $3.24 million in this year?s national budget.

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3?PUBLIC URGED TO ACCESS MEDICAL ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE FOR CANCER DISEASES

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70 percent of people with cancer in the country present themselves at the later stages of the disease making treatment and recovery difficult.

 

This has prompted the Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma to issue a strong message to the public to seek medical assistance and early detection planning to allow medical officials to carry out diagnosis and treatment.

 

?In Fiji the incidences of breast and cervical cancer are increasing. Cancer of ovaries is also becoming a great concern. We are now having very high incidence of cervical cancer cases. HPV vaccine has been launched and currently it?s been given to school girls?, Dr. Sharma said.

 

?Gut cancers which are cancers of stomach, intestine and liver are increasing in males. Now the ministry is also noting new incidences of prostate cancer in males. Cancer is an NCD and we the people of Fiji need to take heed as the NCD crisis worsens?, Minister Sharma said.

 

He added that obesity, tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol and grog intakes are all contributing to cancer.

 

?No matter how much technology is brought in for treatment, the social determinant of living or life makes the difference. People should consume less salt, sugar, fats and junk items and allocate 30 minutes each day for exercise to stay fit and healthy?, Minister Sharma stressed.

 

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4?KADAVU PRESENTS LABOUR QUERIES TO MINISTER

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Issues relating to Occupational Health and Safety were presented to Labour officials when they toured the Province of Kadavu this week.

 

The Labour Ministry led by its Minister Mr Jone Usamate is conducting a roadshow in Kadavu and met with villagers and nearby communities at the Vunisea Government Station.

 

In his address, Minister Usamate highlighted the objectives of Government?s labour reforms spearheaded through the Labour Ministry. He said the Ministry?s aim is to create decent and productive workplaces and that could only be accomplished through good faith employment relations between workers, employers and trade unions.

 

?Our Ministry?s vision of ?Decent work for all? is linked to government overarching vision which is ?Building a better Fiji?, that is the vision of all government Ministries, and that should be everyone?s vision.

 

Mr Usamate said that the Ministry can only achieve principles of good governance when the views and feedback of the people are heard and grafted into the labour reforms currently underway.

 

The Minister and his team heard and clarified the queries and concerns raised by the public on OHS & Workers Compensation, Employment Law, National Employment Centre and child labour matters.

 

The Ministry had conducted similar Road shows in the Western, Northern and Central Division of the country and the Ministry?s Complaints Resolution Team have been able to record significant resolution of the cases received during these consultations.

 

From the Road Shows conducted in the Western 76 per cent of the cases have been resolved and recoveries have been made, while 63% of the cases have been resolved in the Northern Division, and the Central and Eastern Road shows are ongoing.

 

The Ministry will be completing its consultations in the Eastern and Central Division so that members of the public, especially workers and employers embrace the ?spirit of the law? which is engaging in good faith employment relations to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their organisations.

 

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5??INVESTMENT FIJI? APPROVES TEAM FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT

It is?announced today that ?Investment Fiji? has issued a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC) to Worldwide Hart (Fiji) for the Dream City project located in Yaqara on 5,500 acres.

 

In addition, an exploratory/feasibility study will also be prepared on the possible creation of a nationwide Fleur de lis Toll Road across the interior of Viti Levu.? This is with a ?world-class? team of companies from the United States of America.

 

The funding and execution of these two projects were successfully negotiated by Eseroma Tuibua, Chairman of Ravi Ravi Holdings Limited.

 

The Yaqara project will cover the establishment of a?Fijian cultural center, a center of excellence for jobs and education, a financial center, a healthcare campus, land and sea transportation corridors, an entertainment center, tourist centers, sports center, several residential centers, general infrastructure, food terminal, etc.

 

Furthermore, ?The Yaqara project?s Ravi Ravi Holdings Limited has formed a joint venture with this ?world-class? team?s local subsidiary WHF, to establish a financial center at Yaqara that?will lend money to Fijian enterprises that may require funding,? says Eseroma Tuibua.

 

Fiji Government and the Office of the Prime Minister support the proposed Yaqara investment initiative as it creates employment that would certainly improve the standard of living ?in that area including the national economy.

 

The Fiji Road Authority will also be working with this team to engage a practical feasibility plan a national Toll Road project.? A tolling study will be performed.? WHF in joint venture with its Fijian partner Ravi Ravi Holdings Limited will provide the necessary exploratory studies.

These projects will assure the use of Fijian?contractors and guarantee best practices in technical and safety aspects based on International Quality Standards.

 

A?blue ribbon steering committee will be formed soon comprised of representatives from statutory bodies such as Investment Fiji, Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority and key Government central agencies and senior executives of the Company to assure the smooth execution and success of this project.

 

The Worldwide Hart (Fiji) Company team comprises of an assembled “world class” team of funders, architects, engineers, contractors,?operators, suppliers and development experts based in the United States of America.

 

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6?GRANT TO BOOST WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS

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Opportunities to empower women around the country received a financial boost when Government approved a grant of $5,000 to the Vanuakula Mother?s Club and $1551 to the Fiji Girl Guides Association.

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The official signing of the grant agreement was held this morning between the 3 parties at the Ministry of Social Welfare and Women headquarters in Suva. The grants were provided under the Ministry?s Non-Government Organization (NGO) Grants budget.

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The Ministry?s permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta reiterated that NGO Grants are provided to strengthen the empowerment programs and services of the NGO?s in Fiji.

 

?The Ministry plays a vital role in fostering government?s commitment towards achieving change, peace and progress by enhancing efficiency and effectiveness at targeted service delivery through partnership with the NGO?s in Fiji.

 

?These are NGO?s play significant role in creating socioeconomic opportunities for women and contribute towards building better societies. As per the agreement the NGO?s will have to provide their quarterly reports and acquittals for the grant provided,? Dr Koroivueta said.

 

Vanuakula Women?s Club president Mrs Ulalia Dimanawa said the grant of $5000 will assist in the construction of a new Vanuakula Mother?s Community Centre in the province of Naitasiri.

 

?The money will help us to built our first ever women?s community centre as currently the women don?t have any proper infrastructure to organize their monthly meetings and events.? We were so fortunate that Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni visited us last year where we had requested for this assistance.

 

?The Ministry has fulfilled its promise by providing the grant of $5000 which will contribute towards the mother?s community centre, a project worth $28,000. The club will be collecting $8000 while a donor from New Zealand is providing materials worth $15,000. We are very appreciative of this assistance from the Ministry and last year the mother?s club was also provided with tools like sewing machines and brush cutters,? Mrs Dimanawa said.

 

She said the new women?s community hall will provide a platform for Vanuakula women to coordinate their income generating like catering, sewing, handicrafts and selling home made products like jam and honey.

 

Fiji Girl Guides Association executive officer Mrs Tainivanuavou Bolabasaga said that the grant of

$1,551 will assist the Association to facilitate a National Girl Guides Camp in Labasa to be held next month from the 19th?to 23rd?August, 2013.

 

?For this national camp we will be targeting 780 girl guides and 220 teachers, so the grant from the Ministry is a timely one. We will be developing the young girls to learn sewing skills, tie and dye, needle work. There will be 5 sub-camps and main camp will be at Holy Family Primary and Secondary school in Labasa,? Mrs Bolabasaga added.

 

Last year the Ministry has assisted a total of 13 NGO?s through the NGO Grant and this year with a total budgetary allocation of $100,000 the Ministry will be providing similar assistance to more women NGO?s in Fiji.

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