Fiji's trade focus

Fiji'S trade policy framework was finalised yesterday and is expected to unlock a wealth of opportunities for ordinary Fijians.

According to Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali, this would be possible through enhancing Fiji's trade and investment, promoting the growth sectors and creating jobs.

Stakeholders met in Suva to consolidate the results and validate the information and recommendations contained in the framework.

Mr Ali said the framework would contribute to the fulfilment of the Fijian Government's vision of a better Fiji for all.

He said it would determine how to connect all the dots and address the country's production capacity, supply-side constraints, linkages to markets, with the ultimate objective of enhancing Fiji's position in global trade.

"The Bainimarama government's reforms, coupled with consistent and stable policies have ignited a period of economy growth for Fiji, the best in the post-independence Fijian history, with an average growth of 3 per cent," Mr Ali said.

He said it was essential to capitalise on those positive reforms and growth, at the same time, addressed gaps and areas of priority by providing a long-term plan that would ensure the continuation of co-ordination and consistency of policies that improved the general business environment and enabled trade.

He urged stakeholders to realise that they were a team, not individual agencies working in isolation.

"We need to seize the opportunity to form effective public private partnerships, and together contribute to a shared vision.

"The purpose of the framework is to ensure continuation of co-ordinated and consistent approach in national development agenda, to better maximise development gains, by enhancing Fijian industries, investment, exports of goods and services, as well as advance Fiji's interest in international trade negotiations."

He said Fiji's trade and investment was forecasted at a healthy 3.8 per cent this year.

(Source: The Fiji Times)