Fiji Deputy Prime Minister Hon Manoa Kamikamica is leading a trade and investment delegation to New Zealand next week.

Some 80 government and business leaders are travelling from Fiji on a five-day mission commencing March 20 and taking place in Auckland and Wellington.

Hon Manoa Kamikamica also holds the Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications portfolios within the recently elected Rabuka government.

He says the aim of the mission is to leverage export and investment opportunities in New Zealand and to strengthen cooperation on business-to-business and people-to-people partnerships across the sectors.

New Zealand government and business delegates will join the trade mission for single day conferences in Auckland on Monday 20 March and in Wellington on Thursday 23 March. The events are expected to attract over 100 delegates at each. New Zealand trade minister Damien O’Connor will speak at the Auckland function.

Two-way trade between New Zealand and Fiji is valued at NZD$1.17 billion. New Zealand exports to Fiji stand at $503 million and imports from Fiji at $64 million, with tourism making up the difference. A considerable amount of direct investment also occurs between the two nations across tourism and manufacturing.

Main exports from New Zealand to Fiji include electronic machinery, dairy products, lamb products, and vegetables. Fiji has the largest economy of New Zealand’s south pacific neighbours with annual GDP standing at USD$5.3 billion.

The trade mission is being co-ordinated by Investment Fiji. Chief Executive Kamal Chetty says the Fiji delegation will be able to forge deeper connections with their counterparts in New Zealand to explore opportunities across manufacturing, services, agriculture, food and beverage, tourism, infrastructure and telecommunication sectors.

Executives accompanying the Deputy Prime Minister include the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji and high-ranking officials from various government ministries and departments including immigration, revenue and customs, and, lands and mineral resources.

The trade mission is being run in collaboration with the New Zealand-Fiji Business Council, Fiji-New Zealand Business Council, Fiji Consulate General and Trade Commission (Australia and New Zealand), and Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand.

The New Zealand-Fiji Business Council is acting in a hosting capacity across a number of functions in New Zealand. President Chandar Sen says he is very pleased to see that the newly elected Fijian government has chosen New Zealand as its first destination to take a business delegation.

“This reinforces the value both New Zealand and Fiji place on bilateral and business relationships – this with the Fijian mission being led by Deputy Prime Minister Hon Manoa Kamikamica and attended from the New Zealand side by Hon Damien O’Connor,” he says. “The business council has been working tirelessly with Investment Fiji and it is pleasing to see the Auckland events are oversubscribed.”

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