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Fiji gets green light to export fresh chillies into Australia

Fresh chillies from Fiji can now be exported to Australia with a valid import permit.

This has been successful following several months of negotiations between the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The success of this collaboration was reached through technical negotiations and supported by in-country discussions between the two Pacific family members.

BAF Chief Plant Protection Officer, Nitesh Datt says this achievement not only opens up new opportunities for trade but also strengthens the cooperation between Fiji and Australia on matters relating to biosecurity.

Datt says they look forward to delivering fresh chillies to Australian consumers in the coming months, while contributing to the prosperity of Fijian farmers.

He is urging farmers and exporters to fully capitalise on this opportunity.

Australia’s Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, says this collaboration’s market access opens up more opportunities for Fijian exporters.

With the completion of negotiations, DAFF welcomes prospective importers to apply for an import permit through the Australian Biosecurity Import Conditions system, BICON.

Fijian ginger powers ag exports; demand in Australia surges

Fiji’s ginger industry is experiencing a remarkable surge, capturing the attention of global markets and igniting optimism among farmers and policymakers alike. Agriculture Minister Vatimi Rayalu recently lauded the industry’s continuous success as a prime export commodity, citing sustained demand from key markets worldwide.

Rayalu said ginger played a pivotal role in Fiji’s economic landscape, noting its contribution to employment generation, farmers’ socio-economic well-being, and the country’s export revenue. In 2022, Fiji’s domestic earnings reached an impressive $1.3 billion, with the agriculture sector accounting for $927.5 million, representing 68 per cent of total domestic export earnings.

The agriculture minister attributed this substantial contribution to the production and sale of various agricultural products, with ginger emerging as a standout performer. Fiji’s chilled crop and livestock exports have consistently exceeded the $100 million mark annually since 2020, boasting an average growth rate of 13.3 per cent over the past five years.

Despite global market challenges, ginger has distinguished itself as the fourth-highest earner among Fiji’s fresh chilled non-sugar agricultural exports. In 2022 alone, Fiji exported 1,219.3 tonnes of fresh green ginger, valued at $6.9 million, marking a significant growth of 8.9 per cent compared to the previous year.

Minister Rayalu expressed optimism for further expansion in export opportunities, particularly in Australia, where Fiji’s ginger has already made significant inroads. In 2021, Australia imported 980 tonnes of ginger, including both fresh chilled and value-added products, from Fiji, signalling a growing appetite for Fijian ginger among Australian consumers.

Currently, Fiji boasts 750 registered ginger growers who play a vital role in catering to both domestic and international markets. Their dedication to cultivating high-quality ginger has positioned Fiji as a trusted supplier in the global spice trade.

With demand for Fijian ginger on the rise and favourable export prospects, stakeholders are optimistic about the industry’s future growth trajectory. As Fiji’s ginger continues to captivate palates around the world, it not only promises economic prosperity but also underscores the country’s potential as a leading player in the global agricultural arena.

https://afbc.org.au/news/fijian-ginger-powers-ag-exports-demand-in-australia-surges/

Outsource Fiji gains momentum at Contact Centre Week Summit

Fiji is now top of the mind for many Aussie and Kiwi companies looking to outsource and exhibiting at trade shows like Contact Centre Week which will help attract further investment in the BPO space and continue to grow the sector in Fiji.

This has been highlighted by Fiji’s Trade Commissioner for Australia and New Zealand, Daniel Stow as Outsource Fiji, in partnership with Investment Fiji and the Fiji Consulate General and Trade Commission Australia and New Zealand, participated in this year’s Contact Centre Week Australia and New Zealand summit.

The three-day event featured a range of activities including exhibitions, an awards ceremony, interactive discussions, technology demonstrations, and community building sessions.

Stow says this is the third time Fiji has participated at the Summit which serves as an important platform to raise the country’s profile as a premier outsourcing destination to a targeted international audience.

Outsource Fiji’s Executive Director, Sagufta Janif, has highlighted the strategic importance of the summit for promoting their upcoming event, the Exploring Outsourcing in Fiji conference.

She says the summit is undoubtedly one of the largest gatherings for the customer contact community in the Southern Hemisphere.

Janif says being part of this event allows Outsource Fiji to engage with industry stakeholders and generate interest in EXO Fiji.

She says they are extremely pleased with the level of interest the EXO Fiji event has garnered and it demonstrates Fiji’s potential to attract clients and businesses seeking to nearshore operations.

Investment Fiji’s Chief Executive Officer, Kamal Chetty, says by participating in this event alongside Outsource Fiji, they aim to showcase Fiji as a premier destination for outsourcing investments, focusing on the unique advantages and opportunities the country presents in this dynamic sector, including a skilled workforce, cost-effectiveness, and a business-friendly environment.

He says they used this platform to engage with potential investors, understand their requirements, and meaningful connections that can translate into fruitful business relationships in the outsourcing sector, and meet with decision-makers and influencers in the customer contact industry.

https://www.fijivillage.com/news/Outsource-Fiji-gains-momentum-at-Contact-Centre-Week-Summit-xfr845/

FIJI BREAKS VISITOR ARRIVAL RECORDS

Fiji welcomed a record 929,740 visitors in 2023 — the highest ever.
This is up by 46.1% compared to the same 2022 (636,312 visitors) and a growth of 4.0% compared to the pre-pandemic arrivals in 2019 (894,389 visitors).
Markets such as Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada have exceeded past years.

Fiji’s Investment Prospect for 2024 and beyond

Despite global economic uncertainties, Fiji experienced a modest increase in foreign direct investment flows, focusing on diverse sectors such as Services, Tourism, Energy, Real Estate & Construction, Manufacturing, Agriculture, and Business Process Outsourcing.

Major global players like Google, Alibaba, and Starlink have chosen Fiji for their operations, signalling the country’s growing significance in the digital and technology landscape.

The tourism sector is booming, with transformative projects underway, including expansions, refurbishments, and eco-friendly initiatives.

The northern division, particularly Vanua Levu, is emerging as a key player in economic development, attracting substantial investments.

The real estate and retail sectors are undergoing significant transformations with key projects shaping up across the country.

Fiji’s outsourcing sector is experiencing remarkable growth, positioning the country as an emerging hub for outsourcing services.

With upcoming international events and business missions, Investment Fiji aims to showcase Fiji’s investment potential, foster global partnerships, and attract more foreign investments.

Investment Fiji’s Chief Executive Officer Kamal Chetty, recently shared insights on the country’s thriving investment landscape in 2024 and beyond.

Full report: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/284144566/

Australia eyes enhanced trade opportunities with Fiji

The Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ewen McDonald, has expressed strong optimism for the future of Australia-Fiji trade and partnership, highlighting the significant progress made in recent months.

McDonald highlighted the ongoing discussions with Trade Minister Manoa Kamikamica on enhancing trade opportunities between the two nations.

“So trade is a big focus of our work and particularly I’ve had many discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Kamikamica in particular on trade here and he’s driving as you would expect, that partnership along. We’re very supportive of it and we’re looking together at how we can continue to enhance that trade opportunity.”

McDonald’s also assured ongoing efforts to ease trade procedures and prioritize Fiji’s development needs.

“From our point of view, it’s proceeding in the right direction and we want to continue to enhance it as we go forward and we will do what we can to make things easier and to prioritize our support against Fiji’s priorities.”

Australia is one of Fiji’s largest trading partners, with two-way trade totalling more than $1.5 billion in 2021.

Major Fijian exports to Australia include gold and textile clothing.

Growth of tourism is enabling investment

In the resilient bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic, Fiji’s tourism sector has emerged triumphant, boasting a remarkable recovery that has propelled visitor levels to heights reminiscent of the pre-pandemic era. Amidst this resurgence, the heart of innovation beats passionately, as Fiji’s tourism product undergoes a dynamic transformation, with fresh ideas, new target segments and destinations. The Australia Fiji Business Council met Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill and Chief Marketing officer Srishti Narayan in Nadi recently, for a free-wheeling discussion on Fiji’s bounce back, it’s current tourism landscape and plans for the medium term – and how the tourism sector is dealing with the severe labour shortage that has challenged the Fijian economy. Excerpts:

On how Fiji bounced back so quickly after the pandemic:

I think the one reason was preparedness. We spent a lot of time getting ready and being very clear about what it would look like and getting the word out there. I still congratulate the government and the broader tourism stakeholders for finding a balance between economy and health, because not every country found that balance. Understandably, there was real caution, but at in Fiji where we’ve got an economy that is so dependent on visitation, we just had to find a way to manage –and sensible, clever decisions were made that enabled us to be able to open safely for tourists and our people. Importantly, we addressed health concerns at the same time. Our messaging every day was, this is how many people were vaccinated, you’re safe, this is the program, we’ll look after you. It wasn’t without difficulty, but I feel proud of everybody pulling together and making that happen. We also had great support from the Australian and New Zealand governments. When they saw what we needed, they responded and helped.

On new initiatives in Fiji’s tourism offerings:
We are fortunate that with the growth of tourism, that’s enabling investment and enabling people to do new things, especially in the sporting and events space. We’re looking to bring more new things into Fiji. We started that off with Spartan in November, which is a three year contract. So, we had 3,300 people travel to Fiji for Spartan Trifecta event and we expect that to grow in the next two years. We’re working on the NRL match early next year, rugby in the middle of the year. We have World Surf League, which has come back to Fiji in August and we’ve got a number of corporate type events as well wrapped around the year. So the event strategy is really one that we’re working on to keep that freshness and getting people to come for different things.

On gaps in the Fiji tourism product that investors from Australia and overseas should consider:

There’s a whole range of investments possible. For example, there’s a project we’re working with, which is for the Courtyard Marriott, here in Martintar, and it’s a mixed use development – residential, office and hotel. The exciting thing about that is that it’s a business, corporate type hotel. So it’s perfect for your convention, it’s perfect for people mixing business with leisure. So I think that type of product is really important. There’s two major projects that fit that sort of nice mid-range level. There’s another project at Momi Bay. When you look at Fiji, and particularly Viti Levu, there’s actually a number of developments that we call brownfield. They’re half done. So there’s scope there. Demand for other type of accommodation is also growing – Glamping, AirBNB-type stays… so there’s differentiation happening in the Fiji tourism product that’s opening up avenues for investment.

On plans to develop tourism in Vanua Levu:
There’s a strategic plan. World Bank has a $200 million fund, which has commenced addressing a few immediate things, but then there’s the more longer term developmental element. The key is to build an airport which can service a B737 or A320, maybe closer to Savu Savu. Part of that funding is to locate that site. Savu Savu is one of the most beautiful towns in Fiji. It’s really set up to be a great little tourist town if we get it right. So it’s an immense opportunity, but it just needs to be done and planned really well.

On how Fiji’s tourism is dealing with the severe labour shortage:
There’s definitely a problem. You can’t stand in the way of someone who wants to further their career with opportunity and a higher wage overseas. We work with the universities very closely, USP and FNU, and there is a real production line now of great graduates that are coming through USP. They’re seeing the value of that course and then seeing the opportunity that they can go and work immediately in tourism. We’re already seeing that construction’s growing one per cent every quarter. That means people who are learning their trades in construction are having genuine opportunities to work. At Tourism Fiji, we have a graduate program. The constant stream of graduates that are coming through are either becoming permanent staff or going on to other jobs. And I mean part of building brand Fiji is that to make it appealing to some of the disapora that want to come back. It’s not huge numbers, but it’s starting to happen.

https://afbc.org.au/news/growth-of-tourism-is-enabling-investment-brent-hill/

Fijian businesses benefit from upswing in trade with New Zealand and Australia

Small businesses say more exports are helping their communities in Fiji.

Fijian businesses say exporting their goods internationally is benefitting their communities and families.

High brand Fijian skincare labels Nama Fiji and Loloma Fiji are among those businesses who are taking advantage of an upswing in exports to New Zealand and Australia.

“We have been able to build and strengthen an agricultural supply chain.”

Managing Director of beauty products company Nama Fiji, Debra Sadranu, says that showcasing their products increases sales.

“Spas who do treatments with our brand are instantly showcasing the effects and benefits of the products which then generates interest and sales.

“This costs us nothing. However training the spas for product knowledge and treatment protocols is crucial.”

New Zealand and Australia are Fiji’s second and third largest export destinations, according to Fiji’s Trade Commissioner for Australia and New Zealand Mr.Daniel Stow.

He says there has been a 16 per cent increase in facilitated exports by the Trade Commission from Fiji to Australia and New Zealand in the past year.

An estimated $73 million was gained and they aim to see a further 20 per cent increase this year.

Mr. Stow says the relationship Fiji shares with Australia and New Zealand has arguably never been closer as there has never been a better time to do business with one another.

“The Fiji ‘brand’ is very strong and is synonymous with quality, sustainability & uniquely different.

“Strong demand for high-quality, niche products is seeing emerging commodities come out of Fiji such as ginger, turmeric, kava & coconut oil along with more traditional crops including dalo and cassava.”

But there are also challenges for Fijian businesses.

Agricultural exporters such as Happy Valley says the challenge is to find genuine customers who actually pay them.

“I have had bad experiences with customers who purchased from us and just did not pay,” says Happy Valley owner Poonam Nandani.

“This put a lot of financial stress on the business as my vegetables are both produced on our farms as well as procured from local farmers.”

Mr. Stow also says New Zealand and Australia also have varying high biosecurity standards and conditions for goods coming in from overseas, particularly fresh agricultural products, which can be challenging.

He says that this is not only crucial for their company and staff but also for the local women harvesters who are reliant on their supply contracts to earn much needed revenue for their villages and families.

Nandani says selling products in New Zealand and Australia brings real benefits to their families and communities.

“It has meant an improved disposable income for my family.

“The farmers from whom I buy vegetables are able to get a better price as compared to selling in the local market.”

Debra Sadranu, the Managing Director for Nama Fiji agrees:

“This is crucial not only for our company and staff but also for our women harvesters who are reliant on our supply contracts to earn much needed revenue for their village and families.”

Source: pmn.co.nz

 

Fiji’s economic return partly due to ‘government that listens to the private sector’

Fiji’s post-pandemic recovery has been impressive, built on its rebounding tourism sector and a new, investor-friendly government.

 

Fiji faced a significant economic downturn after international tourism, the backbone of its economy, came to a virtual standstill during COVID-19. But in the short couple of years since travel restrictions were lifted, Fiji has witnessed a phenomenal rebound, with an economic growth rate of 8.6 per cent last year and a current year projection of 8 per cent.

The recovery seems to have gained pace with the change in government earlier this year.

Speaking at the 2023 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Brisbane recently, Investment Fiji CEO Kamal Chetty commended the Fiji government’s role in fostering stability and implementing investor-friendly policie

Stability, coupled with initiatives like the economic summit, investment facilitation, and agency transformation, have been crucial in boosting investor confidence,’ he said.

The drive clearly comes from the highest levels of the new coalition government: in recent weeks two of Fiji’s three Deputy Prime Ministers were attending a major Fiji-focused business conference in Australia, while simultaneously, their third colleague was doing the same in New Zealand.

‘The fact that this conference has seen the highest number of attendees ever clearly reflects the interest in the new Fiji… it’s quite overwhelming,’ Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica said in Sydney.

Tourism returns

Chetty acknowledges tourism’s pivotal role in Fiji’s economic resurgence.

The country is currently facing high demand for new hotel rooms (any business traveller knows how hard it is to find accommodation in Suva). Plans are afoot to add 5,000 new rooms. The government is also working on developing tourism on the second-largest island of Vanua Levu, which could realise its potential, were requisite tourism infrastructure built. Also on the wish list are medical, wellness and sports tourism.

Meanwhile, Fiji Airways, the country’s flag carrier, has contributed handsomely to the tourist influx. As well as sharp pricing, the airline has brought in a slew of wide-bodied long-haul jets, adding new services and destinations.

This strategy has resulted in Fiji positioning itself as a cost-effective stopover destination, with a mushrooming of budget transit accommodation around Nadi Airport. There has been a surge in numbers of New Zealand flyers transiting Fiji to travel to both the west coast of the United States and Asian destinations. Expanding operations in the Australian market, it has added Canberra, on top of additional flights from other cities.

Diversification

While tourism remains a cornerstone, Fiji is actively exploring opportunities in other sectors. Diversification is a key strategy for Fiji’s economic stability, says Chetty, and agriculture and manufacturing are among the sectors being explored. Chetty adds that there is a notable shift in investment patterns, where businesses are now looking to diversify their supply chains, presenting opportunities for Fiji to participate because of its location and cost-effective labour.

The country is already known as a back-office hub, and the government is working to capitalise on this reputation. It is actively seeking investors to support this growth, focusing on knowledge process outsourcing – which would be a timely move as the threat of artificial intelligence looms.

Fiji has also been in the forefront of adopting measures and policies to combat climate change. Chetty says green energy and technology are two areas that the government is keen to work with investors on.

Chetty also believes Fiji and Papua New Guinea could take a leadership role working together, with innovative institutional financing of projects around the region.

‘The optimism in Fiji is palpable,’ he adds, attributing this optimism to political stability and ‘a government that listens to the private sector.’

https://www.businessadvantagepng.com/fijis-economic-return-partly-due-to-government-that-listens-to-the-private-sector/

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