The National, Monday September 14th, 2015
By GYNNIE KERO
THE F$85 million (about K107m) investment by Mineral Resources Development Company in the Pearl Hotel at Pacific Harbour is a very welcome milestone in the development of Fiji’s tourism industry, according to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
Bainimarama said an investment of such scale would significantly boost the number of jobs for Fijians as well as contribute to the overall wellbeing of the national economy.
“I’m especially pleased that this is happening here at Pacific Harbour – an area that is only now starting to fulfil the promise that many believed possible for it since the 1970s,” he said.
“I’m delighted to be here in Pacific Harbour (on Saturday) to officially open your new extension and the 132-rooms that are being added to the resort.
“Not only government ministers and MPs, provincial governors and senior executives of MRDC but landowners and shareholders from PNG’s Western province and the Province of Southern Highlands – your presence here symbolises the growing strength of the people-to-people relationship between our (Fiji-PNG) nations – as well as our business ties.”
Bainimarama said The Pearl Resort was one of two major investments by Papua New Guinea in Fiji’s tourism industry – the other being the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
“In both instances, investors from PNG had the foresight to realise that these properties had huge potential and possessed the financial resources to unlock that potential.
“To MRDC and the landowners who benefit from its investments, I especially want to say how much my government appreciates your confidence in Fiji. We are certainly worthy of that confidence and the evidence for that is all around us. Tourism in Fiji has grown by 9.5 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year. We are seeing a clear upswing in capital investment in the tourism sector, which, as you all know, is Fiji’s biggest revenue earner and an important source of income for the Fijian people through the employment it generates.
“We believe the 5.3 per cent annual growth that the Fijian economy enjoyed last year is just the start. So the confidence that you have placed in Fiji with this investment is certain to reap you considerable rewards in the years to come.”