- Minister Kubuabola meets Senior Delegate from Zhejiang Province, China – The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola was paid a courtesy visit by Mr Lu Guohao, the Vice Director-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Government of Zhejiang Province from the People’s Republic of China, in Suva this morning.
- FIJI’S FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SHOW STRONG PERFORMANCE – THE strong performance by statutory financial institutions is creating an enabling environment that allows Government to fund its projects and programmes for 2014.
- Labasa Special School STUDENTS participate in carpentry workshop – Students from the Labasa Special School are participating in a carpentry workshop designed to empower them when they leave school.
- HOUSING AUTHORITY TO HOST BLOOD DRIVE – The Housing Authority of Fiji will host a one day blood drive at the Valelevu and Lautoka offices’ on Wednesday 16th April 2014.
1 Minister Kubuabola meets Senior Delegate from Zhejiang Province, China
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola was paid a courtesy visit by Mr Lu Guohao, the Vice Director-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Government of Zhejiang Province from the People’s Republic of China, in Suva this morning.
Discussions were held on a potential Memorandum of Understanding between Zhejiang Province and a sister Province to be selected from Fiji for a cultural and friendship exchange programme. The Vice Director-General discussed the potential for linkage with the Zhejiang Provincial Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
Minister Kubuabola also proposed that China should introduce one of its airlines and have direct flights to Fiji. This will enhance the spirit of cooperation between the two countries and boost tourism from China.
Zhejiang has a long tradition of interacting with foreign countries and they wish to explore opportunities to further enhance relations with Fiji. The province is traditionally known as the “Land of Fish and Rice” and is one of the richest provinces in China. The province, together with cities under its direct jurisdiction, has established friendly relations with 148 provinces, cities, counties in 40 countries.
2 FIJI’S FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SHOW STRONG PERFORMANCE
THE strong performance by statutory financial institutions is creating an enabling environment that allows Government to fund its projects and programmes for 2014.
Finance permanent secretary, Mr Filimoni Waqabaca said the recent announcement by two statutory bodies of earning more revenue for Government was an indication of the state of the Fijian economy.
It is also a reflection of the optimism that is building up and there are strong signals that the steady economic growth will continue in the short to medium term.
This comes as the Reserve Bank of Fiji transferred $39.9m to Government comprising of $31.9m as its profit and $8m representing the re-evaluation reserves account as per RBF Act.
Right on the heels of this announcement, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority revealed that it has surpassed its first quarter target by $39m and collected a total of $431.13m in income tax, Value Added Tax, custom duties and other taxes.
These developments reflect the economic progress over the years as reflected by the consecutive years of positive economic growth and confidence in the country.
This has also been recognised by multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank.
Mr Waqabaca said all this puts Government in a strong position to financially meet its own targets.
“The Ministry for its part has had a very vigorous first quarter with more than $100 million paid to service both external and domestic loans,” he said.
This was in the form of $66.4m for domestic and $36.3m for external loans that was due for servicing in the first quarter and constitutes to around 37 per cent of the total due cumulative to June, Mr Waqabaca said.
He said bonds floated in the market have raised $101.2m which was 40 percent of the total that needs to be raised in 2014.
Government borrowings are primarily channelled towards revamping the productive capacity of the Fijian economy in terms of infrastructure development mainly intended to unlock depressed regions to ensure economic development and inclusive growth.
RBF Governor, Mr Barry Whiteside said, “The improved profit was achieved in a challenging global environment as the returns on foreign reserves, which are the principal source of income for the Bank, continued to be affected by very low interest rates in our major trading partner economies”.
Labasa Special School STUDENTS participate in carpentry workshop
Students from the Labasa Special School are participating in a carpentry workshop designed to empower them when they leave school.
The workshop is organised and carried out by the Integrated Human Resource Development Programme (IHRDP) under the Ministry of Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics in the Northern Division.
Labasa Special School head teacher Mukesh Chand said the workshop is a welcome move by Government and relevant authorities in securing a future for the students.
‘‘I would like to thank IHRDP for assisting with the grants and the government for ensuring that education be given to every child’’.
‘‘The parents are very happy with this project and are looking forward to the successful start of this venture”.
The project is expected to be completed by next month.
4 HOUSING AUTHORITY TO HOST BLOOD DRIVE
The Housing Authority of Fiji will host a one day blood drive at the Valelevu and Lautoka offices’ on Wednesday 16th April 2014.
The Authority’s chief executive officer Alipate Naiorosui says, “As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Authority will continue to partner with the Fiji National Blood Service to host more blood drives to assist with the much needed blood for our hospitals in Suva and Lautoka.
The blood drive is a whole day program which will begin at 10:00am until 4:00pm in the afternoon. The team will be set up at the car park of the respective offices to allow access from staff and also the public as well.
This is part of the Fiji National Blood Service campaign to replenish supply due to the increase in blood transfusions in our hospitals.
Mr Naiorosui is appealing to the business community in Nasinu and Lautoka and also to the public at large to come in, donate blood and help save a life.