The National, Friday 12th April, 2013
By GYNNIE KERO
MORE than 70 people who are part of a Fiji trade and investment mission to Papua New Guinea arrive tomorrow in Port Moresby.
They represent 49 companies from the textile and clothing, retail and wholesale, financial, security, hardware, construction and engineering, home furnishing, manufacturing and recruitment sectors.
Permanent secretary for trade and industry Shaheen Ali said a number of Fijian firms had successfully entered the PNG market despite tariff barriers in 2010.
“Fijian exports to PNG was around F$11.7 million,” he said.
Ali said the recent development under the Melanesian Spearhead Group trade agreement, which removed the majority of tariffs, would further increase trade between the two countries.
“The MSG skills movement scheme, which is the means to ease movement of labour among the MSG countries, has opened opportunities for Fijian skilled and semi-skilled personnel to find employment,” he said.
Ali added the interest from the security sector to be part of the Fijian delegation was proof of this.
He said the mission would give businesses the opportunity to explore strategies and options in the large and lucrative PNG market.
“It will raise awareness, create links and for those who are part of the delegation, this will be a worthwhile endeavour,” he said.
“This is an opportunity not only for Fijian companies to find markets in PNG but also for PNG companies to do business with Fiji.
“The PNG market is made up of seven million people making it a natural business and investment partner and destination.
“We have seen major investments in the financial and tourism sector. And with this mission we aim to grow the investment interests from PNG in other sectors given the incentives announced in the 2013 budget.”
The mission will be in conjunction with Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s visit to PNG from April 15 to 19.
It includes a trade seminar on April 17 at the Gateway Hotel, an exhibition by more than 25 Fijian companies and also meetings with PNG companies.