The Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards has provided the encouragement needed to achieve maximum growth and success, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Hon. Faiyaz Koya.
Launching the awards last night, Minister Koya said in its 22 years history, the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year awards had led the exporters towards innovation, creation and enthusiasm to reach new markets and improve products.
“The Exporters of the Year Awards is not just a celebration for achievement, it is a symbol of the dynamism and boldness that has taken hold in our business community,” he said to the captains of industries gathered for the launch.
Minister Koya commended the theme of this year’s awards “Partnering for Global Success” as it fits well with Fiji’s public-private partnership that has elevated the country in both regional and international trade.
He said while the exporters have the ideas and the drive to export, to find markets, it is Government’s job to create a conducive environment to facilitate business growth.
The fact that Government has done just that can be attributed to the unprecedented growth experienced by the Fijian economy in the past six years, Minister Koya highlighted.
He said it was projected that the Fijian economy will grow by 4.3 per cent and foreign reserves are at a strong position as it stands at $1.997 billion which was sufficient to cover five months of imports of goods and non-factor services.
Similarly for exports, the trade minister said it had risen by 11.5 per cent in 2014 or $2.1b and this is expected to grow further in 2015.
“The conditions are perfect for our exporters to invest, reinvest, expand and diversify further and take advantage of the various manufacturing and export incentives provided by the Government,” Mr Koya said.
Westpac Bank is the major sponsor and contributed $100,000 to the awards that will be presented to 12 of Fiji’s foremost exporters in various categories.
The awards will be administered by Investment Fiji and also present during the launch were Investment Fiji chairman, Truman Bradley and chief executive officer, Mr Godo Muller-Teut as well as Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism permanent secretary Mr Shaheen Ali.