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Fiji-Taiwan Strengthen Trade Ties, Speed Processes

Fiji to strengthen trade ties

Fiji is expected to strengthen its trade and investment ties with Taiwan through a Trade and Investment Mission, which is in the country to explore the new trading links between the two countries.

The Minister for Industry, Tourism, Trade and Communication Mr Tom Ricketts met the members of the mission yesterday at the Fiji Trade Investment Board(FTIB) office in Suva.

In his opening address to the members Mr Ricketts said Fiji's ties with Taiwan goes back a long way and the people of Fiji have tremendously benefited through their aid and assistance.

"We have benefited tremendously through various forms of aid, technical assistance and development cooperation through our relationship with you," Mr Ricketts said.

The Minister said the Mission will focus on exploring trade and investment opportunities between the two countries and he also briefed them about the Governments policies and initiatives in the trade and investment areas.

The trade mission is expected to explore trade initiatives mainly in the key sectors identified for exports.

"We now also have in place a national export strategy under which there are six key sectors identified as potentials for export," Mr Ricketts told the trade and investment mission.

Some of these key sectors are identifies as follows:

* Agri-business

* Forestry

* Marine

* Mineral water

* Audio visual

* Information communication

* Technology or ICT

"I notice from the itinerary that is planned for you that some of these sectors are of interest to members of your delegation," Mr Ricketts said .

***

State to conduct facilitation assessment

A National Trade Facilitation Assessment would be carried out to speed up the trade processes, says Mr Tom Ricketts the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism and Communication.

While addressing the Taiwan Trade and Investment Mission at the Fiji Trade and Investment (FTIB) Board Room in Suva, Mr Ricketts said the assessment would be carried out by the end of this month.

"We will be conducting a national trade facilitation assessment of our needs and priorities at the end of this month," Mr Ricketts told the delegates of the Taiwan trade mission.

He said on the trade front, Taiwan has enjoyed a surplus of exports into Fiji, while we have made little inroads into the Taiwan market.

"The latter is understandably so because of the huge distance between our two countries and the absence of direct flight and shipping routes," Mr Ricketts said.

The Trade Minister highlighted that on average it takes about 25 days to export goods from Fiji.

"By this I mean from the packing of goods at the factory to the time when the goods actually depart the port of exit," he said.

Therefore, Mr Ricketts said the facilitation assessment would provide assistance in goods for the exports to be expedited and which in turn would also speed up the trading procedures.

"The primary objective is to assist our enterprises in having their goods expedited and cleared through simple customs and border procedures," Mr Ricketts said.

The Minister for Trade thanked the Taiwan trade mission for coming to Fiji and exploring the new trading links between the two countries.

"Please allow me to express the Fiji government's deepest appreciation for the interest shown in strengthening linkages between our two countries in the area of trade and investment. I would also like to thank Mrs Frances Ligalevu for her efforts in organizing your delegation to come over to Fiji," he said.

ENDS

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