New Zealand has a long history of friendship and cooperation with Fiji and hence we should work together for the betterment of the peoples of the two countries, Trade Minister Todd McClay said.
Speaking at the first ‘Fiji Business Dinner’ hosted by Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana at Pullman Hotel Auckland on Monday, March 21, 2016, he said that New Zealand was also among the first countries to provide monetary aid, relief supplies and other services to Fiji following the devastating Tropical Cyclone Winston on February 21, 2016.
About 50 business persons operating in New Zealand and Fiji attended the event.
“We welcome Fiji’s return to democracy following the general election held on September 14, 2014 and look forward to engaging with the government to promote bilateral trade and commerce. I hope to visit Fiji soon to meet officials and businesses and prepare a proper programme of engagement,” Mr McClay said.
Biggest Pacific Partner
He said that Fiji is the biggest trading partner for New Zealand in the South Pacific (valued at $431 million in 2015) and that there was more than ample potential to expand into areas including infrastructure, education, health and business.
Harish Lodhia, who represented the Fijian government as the country’s Honorary Counsul based in Auckland, outlined the incentives and facilities provided to attract foreign investors, businesses and former citizens of Fiji.
“Fiji is open to business,” he said and hoped that the initiative of the two media organisations will widen the platform for two-way trade., business-to-business and people-to-people promotion.
Among the other speakers at the event were Jacob Mannothra, Robert Khan, Managing Directors respectively of Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana, Member of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and chief executives of many organisations.
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Todd McClay, Harish Lodhia, Jacob Mannothra, Robert Khan and Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi at the ‘Fiji Business Dinner’ on March 21. Pictures by Narendra Bedekar