Caption: Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji chief executive Mr Neale Slack at the forum.
Reduction of costs and better time management are key priorities for the transport sector to fully provide accessible services to the people.
Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Jone Usamate, during the opening of the 12th National Transport Consultative Forum in Novotel, Lami today said the need to improve national transport network systems is crucial for trade.
“In 2013, Fiji Bureau of Statistics survey showed that Fiji ranked 111 out of 185 economies in terms of trading cross borders which measured time and cost associated with the import/export of a standard shipment by maritime transport,” Mr Usamate said.
The survey also showed local transport and handling accounted for 30 per cent of costs and 12 per cent of time associated with imports and exports.
Mr Usamate said processes of operation needed to be changed in order to have better access to transportation.
“There have been changes to legislations and we have reviewed the 1998 Land Transport Act. The new legislation – Maritime Transport Decree and Ship Registration Decree enforced in March 2013 shows government’s commitment to the transport sector,” Mr Usamate said.
Government has also invested in the transport sector through a $400million allocation for road upgrades and rehabilitation work to aid navigation and lighthouses.
Mr Usamate added that talks are also underway between local institutions and Government to implement ways of reducing Fiji’s dependency on fossil fuel.