Fiji, ‘a trade hub’

Seated in front from left to right: Fiji’s trade commissioner to North America Alika Cooper, Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communication, Manoa Kamikamica, Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communication permanent secretary Shaheen Ali and honorary consul of Fiji in San Francisco, Jay Singh, at the new Trade Commission office. Picture: SUPPLIED

The new Fiji Trade Commission North America office in Burlingame, California, was officially opened this week by the minister for Trade, Co-operatives, SMEs and Communication, Manoa Kamikamica.

During the opening ceremony Mr Kamikamica said the US was Fiji’s largest and fastest growing export market.

“In 2022, we recorded a 15.6 per cent growth in total trade, with a significant 15.4 per cent increase in Fijian exports to the US market,” he said.

Mr Kamikamica said this indicated the expanding reach of new Fijian products and businesses throughout that region.

“However, we have only scratched the surface when it comes to realising the full potential of marketing Fijian-made goods in the North American market.

“This is where the Trade Commission plays a crucial role in promoting Fiji as your ideal trade and investment destination.”

Fiji’s Trade Commission office was relocated from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the objective to bring it close to major tech companies, financial institutions, and businesses that engage in trade and investment with Fiji and Fijians.

Mr Kamikamica said it was the role of this office to support interested investors, conduct direct outreach to companies of interest, and promote Fiji as a unique investment destination. He said Fiji had become the hub of trade, investment, and innovation of the Pacific.

“We are leading significant developments. With the Trade Commission Office now situated in the heart of the business community in California, we are conveniently positioned to serve both the United States and Canada.

“We are excited to announce that we have some interesting projects in the pipeline, which will elevate Fiji’s status as an investment destination.

“Our economy is recovering, and to maintain Fiji as an investment and trade destination of choice, we will continue to accelerate reforms and modernise our business processes.

“Our goal is to create an open, fair, and friendly business environment, despite our geographical isolation and small market.”

According to Mr Kamikamica North American tourists have a special affinity for Fiji, with 12 per cent of total visitors arriving from Canada and the US, contributing to $183.8 million in earnings in 2022.

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