Investment Fiji organized and conducted a workshop on 27th February at the Fiji Electricity Authority, Training Room with Tier 1 and Tier 2 Investment Approving Agencies to discuss strategies to improve facilitation and implementation of foreign investment projects in Fiji.
Investment Fiji Chairman, Mr. Truman Bradley, in his Address stated that “A common frustration for investors is usually the lack of communication from agencies back to the investor when requirements have not been fulfilled or decisions are not possible, this is understandable considering how busy each agency must be, however hopefully with the introduction of online technology we can try to better our services and move towards removing any and all impediments to investment within Fiji”.
In its role to increase investment level in the country, Investment Fiji outlined the objectives of the Consultation Committee to remove red tapes from the investment processes, identify where investment projects are held up and device mechanisms to have a smooth flow of investment approvals. The Committee has been tasked to review and standardize processes of agencies, review respective agencies checklists and requirements that will be aligned to accommodate increased productivity and create linkages with respective investor agents for feedback.
While it is noted that most of the unimplemented projects fall in Central and Western Division Investment Fiji through its branches in Lautoka and Labasa will spearhead programs to meet all recent registered projects and assist in implementation of the projects. A survey form has been designed to gather information from investors, where the findings will be circulated on by the Facilitation Unit at Investment Fiji.
According to Investment Fiji Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ravuni Uluilakeba, “The 2013 budget is in favor of the investors with incentives such as the extended Tax Free Zones, reduction in corporate tax rate and most of all, the waiver of the $250,000 paid up capital in the unspecified activity. At one hand we have the attractive incentives offered by the government; we feel it’s time we provide user-friendly services to our investors. Already this year is looking favorable and we hope to continue with the same momentum”.
To enhance the service provided to a Foreign Investor, a “Single Window Clearance Service” is set to be implemented by April this year. This service will be provided by Pacific Technologies Limited in conjunction with Yalamanchili Software Exports Limited; – who won the Government tender for the managing and deploying ITC technologies to improve on-line registration and payments for Tier 1 and Tier 2 Agencies.
Fiji has a comparative advantage to investments, due to its strategic location. The implementation of the “Single Window Clearance Service” will not only be user-friendly to the investors but will also help improve our current World Bank ranking to lead the chart in the Pacific Region.
The next consultation meeting will be held in two (2) weeks’ time to discuss the list of projects that are held up at various agencies.