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No investment because of uncertainty, says US

No investment because of uncertainty, says US

Fri, 23 Feb 2001 09:29:43 +1200

PEOPLE'S COALITION GOVERNMENT, FIJI Issue No: 508 22 February 2001

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No investment because of uncertainty - US

The American government says that the lack of investment in Fiji, and the lack of commercial deals between Fiji and the US is a result of the current political situation in Fiji. Newly appointed US Commercial Attaché at the US Embassy, Chris Hodges told the media the a lot of investors are adopting a wait and see attitude now. He said: "That is what we are finding out right now, and then it only makes sense. One of the keynotes of any kind of economic success is political stability. And if you put money into a business you want to know that in two years your contract will still be there".

The spate of lawlessness, roadblocks, takeovers of businesses, and demands for premiums and goodwill money by people claiming to be landowners has sent shockwaves through the business community. Their major concern is that the regime and its ministers have themselves been behind the violation of the law here. The major threat has been to the sanctity of contracts, said one businessman.

Investment in Fiji is at a total standstill. Even investors operating here have been leaving. This week two major garment factories closed their operations laying off about 1000 workers. Trident and Radar Pacific have shipped out their machines and are reportedly relocating to other countries. Over 18,000 people have been laid off from their jobs since 19 May 2000.

The regime, meanwhile, insists that investment is rising in Fiji, and people are happy.


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