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On August 30, China-Fiji Eco-nomic and Trade CooperationSeminar & Enterprise Match-making Meeting was held in the mainhall of China Council for the Promotionof International Trade (CCPIT). Econom-ic Information Department of CCPTT asthe host invited these distinguished guestsfrom Fiji. Headed by Mr. Taito Waradi,Minister of Ministry of Commerce, In-dustry, Investment & Communicationsof Fiji, government officials officers fromFiji Islands Trade & Investment Bureaualso attended the Meeting, such as itsDeputy Chairman, Mr. Radha K Gaunderand its senior investment promotion of-ricer, Ms. Kelera Cavuilati. All together,15 Fiji officers and 14 Fiji enterprises at-tended the Meeting.
Many Chinese enterprises showedtheir great interests and tendency to co-operate with Fiji side. This island countrystands at the Southern Pacific Ocean. Itis a sovereign democratic state, a formerBritish colony that gained independencein 1970 and became a republic in 1987following two coup d"etats. Political sta-bility found its way back into the countrythrough the enactment of the 1990 Con-stitution, which also led to Fiji"s readmis-sion as a member of the Commonwealthin 1997. Fiji is currently a republic undermilitary rule.
Q:What"s the current bilateraleconomic relationship betweenChina and Fiji?
A:Fiji has a wide economic coop-eration with China, from bilateraltrade to investment. At the same time,China is the biggest developing countryin the world. So there are a lot of oppor-tunities laying on both sides.
In 2006, the total bilateral tradevolume amounted to US$ 116 million,and over US$ 110 million was what weimported from China. Though there isimbalance of foreign trade, what moreimportantly, we are going to find meth-ods to bridge the gap.
Beside, both governments are en-couraging more cooperation between thetwo sides. We could happily to see morebusiness relationship established in thefuture.
Q:If Chinese investors want to in-vest in Fiji, are there any favor-able policies? In which fields will for-eign investment be mostly welcomed?
A:Right now, Fiji government isfully encouraging foreign invest-ment to Fiji, including China too. Fiji isa member of many important interna-tional trade agreements, such as BTA,RTA, SPARTECA, PICTA, EPA andMTA. Those agreements made Fiji amore preferential country to invest in.
Fiji is focusing on natural resourcereception. We especially welcome thoseprojects in agriculture and manufacturefield, no matter in terms of investment orcooperation. Fiji is opening his potentialmarket to the world, and that is why weare here.
Between China and Fiji, there area lot of interests we can share. Quitea number of investments from Chinacould be seen in Fiji rightnow. Besides those fieldsI have mentioned, thefields in fishing, trans-fer, food processingare welcoming in- vestment, too. Andif Chinese investorsinvest in tourism de-velopment, they canenjoy tax free policyfor as long as 10 to 20years!
Q:Talking about tourism,Fiji is very rich not only innatural resource, but also its beauti-ful sightseeing. How is tourism coop-eration of both sides developing up tonow?
A:As early as 2004, Fiji was onthe list of Approved DestinationStatus (ADS) to China. The tourismbetween China and Fiji will have moreroom to cooperate together. Right now,we are making things convenient forChinese to get the visa and visit Fiji.
There is no direct flight betweenChina and Fiji yet, but sve are eager tostart a new airline, cooperating with aChinese air company. Currently, Chi-nese tourists have to go to Hong Kong,South Korea, or Japan first, to take thetransfer flight. But wheneverthink of sleeping onthe beach, withbeer, blue skyand ocean, what you costwill pay off. The environ-ment of Fiji is really verygood for tourism.
Q:Do you think theMeeting, is suc-cessful? What fruits hasit achieved so far?
A:Of course, yes, themeeting and theconference are very suc-cessful. I can feel theenthusiasm fromChinese peopleand enterprises;what"s more,some matchedenterprisesfrom Chinaand Fiji showngreat interestto cooperatewith each other.Maybe we couldeven see some coop-eration agreements beforewe back to Fiji.
In my point of view, China is acharming country, full of opportuni-ties. Even though both sides may havedifficulties in communication, when wecome to sit together and begin to talkabout trade and investment, there is nobarrier at all. Business is an internationallanguage.
Besides Beijing, there are four othercities we are going to visit in the follow-ing days. They are Nanjing, Shanghai.Guangdong and Hangzhou. From this,you can see we are eager to know moreabout China. Meanwhile we warmlywelcome more Chinese to know moreabout Fiji.