The Unit is responsible for formulating, implementing, monitoring and reviewing policy initiatives and projects, to enhance private sector development in commerce, industry, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), investment, services¸ competition and consumer protection. The Unit oversees four statutory organisations and is also responsible for providing policy advice and administrative support to its stakeholders, both within government and externally.
The Fijian Government in 2011 launched the Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign. The Campaign is a national branding initiative of the Fijian Government. The Campaign promotes Fijian products and services in the domestic, regional and international markets. The Campaign is spearheaded by the Ministry, to promote and raise the profile of Fijian made products through branding and marketing strategies.
This Campaign supports Government’s policy aimed at promoting the production and consumption of items, which can be produced or grown in Fiji. The overall objectives of this Campaign are to:
- build a sense of loyalty amongst the Fijians to buy locally produced products to assist employment generation and the expansion of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors;
- reduce the import bill and improve Fiji’s balance of payment; and
- position Fijian made products in the international markets to promote and strengthen our exports.
The Micro Small Business Grant (MSBG) Scheme was launched by the Hon. Prime Minister on 7 July 2015. The grants in form of cheques are authorized on the name of the suppliers from where the recipients are planning to source their items such as tools, building and fencing materials, farm equipment’s, purchase of goods or any other supplies. The Scheme is an initiative designed to provide grants for start-up and assistance to new and existing micro and small businesses, of up to $1,000.
The grant is targeted at individuals who have particular skill sets, such as, handicrafts, fruit and vegetable sellers, farming and handicrafts, to name a few. Beneficiaries of this scheme will be able to use the funds to overcome barriers in starting up new businesses or to boost their existing businesses. It is also a platform for businesses to secure funding from mainstream financial institutions, like the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) and other Commercial Banks.
The MSBG Facility is part of the Fijian Government’s overall commitment to reducing poverty through capital injection into micro and small businesses and business and entrepreneurial skills development.
The Young Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) is to stimulate employment generation by encouraging Fijian youths to become job creators rather than job seekers, which in turn lead to an increase in new and innovative products and services that meet international standards and can compete globally.
The primary objective of YES is to provide immediate assistance in the form of grants to young and budding entrepreneurs who have innovative and bankable ideas/projects which financial institutions are not willing to support due to lack of collateral. This will partly address the market failure where financial institutions are reluctant to provide start-up capital to young entrepreneurs.
This YES Program also promote the adoption of eco-friendly and sustainable business practices that respect the environment and adheres to relevant laws and regulations.
Successful young aspiring entrepreneurs are being provided with business training and mentorship to enable them to operate financially viable businesses.
The National Export Strategy (NES) is a Government Grant facility, which aims to assist existing and new exporters in achieving competitiveness, value addition, export diversification and growth in targeted markets overseas. The government will provide this assistance in sectors which have growth potentials, such as Forestry, Fisheries, Agro-business and Manufacturing.
The Fijian Government will continue to provide assistance to Fijian exporters to overcome barriers to trade, maximize productions, diversify products and secure new markets. This will contribute to increased exports, improved balance of payment position and foreign exchange earnings for the economy.
Companies on the verge of exporting that require assistance for product development can apply for this grant. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are in the export business or on the verge of exporting are encouraged to consider applying for the grant. Eligibility for assistance will be based on the set criteria for this Scheme.
The Ministry administers the Scrap Metal Trade Decree of 2011. Those looking to become or maintain their license for the Scrap Metal Trade are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the legislation. Attached is the Decree for your knowledge:
The Fijian Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, is striving to improve the quality and standardise the structure of the roadside stalls, which falls outside municipal boundaries. Majority of these roadside stalls are old and makeshift, hence, the structures are susceptible to natural disasters, such as cyclones and flooding.
Through the Fijian Government’s Standardised Roadside Stalls project, the Ministry is working towards having standardised, presentable and hygiene stalls around the country.
As stipulated in the 5 Year National Development Plan, the Fijian Government will continue to provide quality and standardised roadside stalls to vendors who operate in areas outside of municipal boundaries, in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and who meet the specified criteria.
As per Fiji’s 5 Year and 20 Year National Development Plan, the Fijian Government has made strong commitment to develop Fiji as the manufacturing hub of the Pacific and develop specialized economic zones with tailor-made incentives to attract investments in the services and manufacturing industries.
Wairabetia Economic Zone (WEZ) in Lautoka will be a modern zone that has in place all supporting infrastructure and utilities. Tax breaks, investment allowances and subsidies would be provided to investors to make the zone more attractive. The WEZ will be established to promote exports and attract investments within the zone.
The concept of economic zones is not new to Fiji, as there are dedicated economic zones in the form of the Kalabu Tax-Free Zone (KTFZ), Savusavu Industrial Zone and Tax-Free Regions.
The WEZ is located in close proximity to the Lautoka Wharf (approximately six kilometres away or ten minutes’ drive) and the Nadi International Airport (approximately fifteen kilometres away or twenty minutes’ drive). The WEZ is also located near to a large potential labour force with good access to electricity, telecommunications and water infrastructure.
Based on this feedback and other consultations with the private sector, it is proposed that the WEZ is to use a “Plug and Play” approach. It will promote fully developed lots, subdivided according to a comprehensive master plan and make provisions for essential services, such as access roads, transportation and public utilities with ready-made facilities and common areas for use by businesses, their employees and clients.
The WEZ project is expected to be completed in 2 phases with Phase one comprising securing the foreshore lease, hiring a project manager and project officer, carrying out any further geotechnical work, developing a site master plan/architectural concepts, undertaking civil works involving site reclamation, and introducing services and utilities at the WEZ.
Phase two will involve the construction of buildings and facilities at the Zone, including the ICT, manufacturing, logistics/warehousing and shopping facilities, including the possibility of a future marina.