The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, congratulated the Bharitya Janta Party (BJP) on its overwhelming victory in India’s recent general election during a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, 20 May 2014, with BJP executives and Party Co-convener, Vijay Jolly.
The Minister emphasised to Mr. Jolly and his colleagues the need to further strengthen the two nations’ long standing relations. “India is a super power and a fast developing nation that is under-represented in the Pacific region in terms of trade and investment,” said the Minister.
The Minister explained that the close ties between Fiji and India have not yet translated into real benefits for either country in terms of trade and investment, but said that he expected that to change after the two countries signed a Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) Agreement and launched an Indo-Fiji Business Association in January this year.
“In the past, there was little motivation for the business communities in Fiji and India to get together to explore new opportunities. Now, the DTA and Business Association are playing an important role in furthering trade, investment and businesses opportunities; however, there is still need for political will,” said the Attorney-General.
The Minister said that the Bainimarama Government has the political will to put the appropriate measures in place to encourage both business communities to take full advantage of the new incentives and to ensure that they are mutually beneficial for the ordinary citizens of both countries.
Mr. Jolly welcomed the Fijian delegation and conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wishes to work with the Fijian Government to strengthen existing ties, including the development of trade and business between the two nations.
The Minister, on behalf of the Fijian Prime Minister, reiterated Fiji’s congratulations and well wishes to the new Indian Prime Minister.
During the meeting, the Minister also updated the BJP representatives on the preparations being made for Fiji’s forthcoming election, which will be held in September this year.