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Indian investors try new initiatives in Fiji

A high-level delegation of investors and businesspersons representing the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will visit Fiji to examine possibilities of establishing their presence in the South Pacific country.

Although no firm date has been fixed, CII President S Gopalakrishnan told visiting Attorney General and Industry & Trade Minister Aiyaz Syed-Khaiyum at a meeting held in Bangalore on January 28.

Mr Khaiyum was in the Capital of Karnataka along with an official delegation to attend the CII Partnership Summit held under the theme, ‘Effective Pathways for Partnerships for Sustainable Growth.’

Pacific challenges

Speaking at the Summit, Mr Khaiyum called for greater objectivity in conceptualising and implementing global sustainability goals.

He said that the political climate invariably shaped these goals.

The world should become increasingly conscious of the challenges and threats posed to island countries like Tuvalu in the Pacific, especially in the wake of climate change. Tuvalu is just 12 feet above sea level and there are fears that the country could be submerged in the next 20 years if the sea level rises rapidly, he said.

Sustainable goals

Mr Khaiyum said that governments should adopt innovative ways to promote sustainability practices.

“Fiji has the largest mahogany forest in the world, which is growing as the wood fetches good value in overseas markets. People are encouraged to grow mahogany trees,” he said.

Later, Mr Khaiyum discussed with Mr Gopalakrishnan trade and investment relations between Fiji and India.

He said that initial discussions have generated concrete proposals that will create increased opportunities for Fijians.

“CII has agreed not only to pursue business, investment and trade opportunities in Fiji but also using Fiji as a hub to examine existing and emerging opportunities with other Pacific Island countries.

In order to generate interest and awareness, CII has also agreed to organiser a seminar on Fiji in New Delhi,” Mr Khaiyum said.

Serious Seminar

It is understood that the Fijian High Commission in Delhi will facilitate the Seminar, which will be supported by the Industry & Trade Ministry, Investment Fiji, the Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority, Fiji Commerce & Employers’ Federation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

Mr Khaiyum said that the proposed CII trade and investment mission to Fiji will consider a number of measures to step up bilateral trade.

“These initiatives aim at developing new markets for Fijian made products and services in India. We are also keen to identify investment opportunities for Indian businesses in Fiji and provide Fijian businesses and consumers alternative sources of imported goods,” he said.

Established in 1895, CII is the longest running industry association in India. With more than 7100 members from private and public sectors, it accounts for more than 90,000 enterprises from 257 national and regional bodies.

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