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.