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Investment Policies

The Fiji Government recognises the importance of both local and foreign sources of private investment.  Both are acknowledged and valued for the different expertise, strengths and economic contributions they offer to the Fiji.  Local investors are often well placed to access Fiji’s many natural and human resources, link with existing entrepreneurs and enterprises, and make appropriate business risk assessments.  Foreign investors are recognised for their capacity to access substantial capital funds, transfer new technology, techniques, products and organisational systems, draw on diverse skills and expertise, develop domestic human capital, and use their information and networks to access ever-changing market opportunities in our globalised economic environment.

Foreign Investment  
All foreign investments are required to obtain a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate from Investment Fiji prior to establishing a business in Fiji.  A foreign investment is defined as an investment with any level of shareholding or ownership held by a foreign citizen.  The Foreign Investment Act 1999, the Foreign Investment (Amendment) Act 2004, the Foreign Investment Regulation 2009 and the Foreign Investment (Budget Amendment) Act 2016, govern the facilitation, registration and regulation of foreign investment in the Fiji. 

The foreign investment legislation provides a simple, transparent and non-discretionary system to facilitate the entry of all foreign investment into the Fiji.  Under this legislation, foreign investors have market access rights to all sectors of the private economy, except for the ‘Reserved list’ of a limited number of economic activities that are specifically reserved for local investors.  This is to limit foreign investment in sectors of the economy Government believes is adequately serviced by domestic investment.  In addition, some business activities are classified as restricted and certain conditions may apply.  Such reservations and restrictions are clearly set out and readily available to prospective investors in the Foreign Investment Regulations 2009.

Investment Fiji is governed by and administers the Foreign Investment Act 1999 and subsequent amendments.  All foreign investors wishing to establish a business in Fiji must register with Investment Fiji using the prescribed forms.   Decisions are usually made within five days after lodging a complete application.

 

Guarantees
Fiji’s foreign investment legislation provides a series of guarantees to foreign investors, including guarantees concerning:

1.       Protection regarding the compulsory acquisition of property.

2.      The right to remit earnings overseas and repatriate capital.

3.      The right of recourse to Fiji’s justice system to settle investment disputes.

4.     Application of the principles of the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes when settling any disputes involving a foreign investor.

5.      Non-discrimination of foreign investors on the grounds of nationality.

Foreign Currency Account Scheme
Interest income is exempt from tax which accrues to or in favour of a non-resident, including former Fiji residents, who hold funds in Fiji commercial bank accounts under the following criteria:

For foreign currency accounts, interest income for deposist above the equivalent of FJD$150,000;
For Fiji dollar accounts, any amount of interest income.

 

Freedom to Repatriate Funds
Under the current exchange control regulations, local investors are free to remit funds abroad to meet the costs of obligations incurred overseas.  In addition, foreign investors are able to remit profits and capital earned from its operations in Fiji. At present, there are no limits to the amount that can be repatriated as profits and earnings, subject to application to the Reserve Bank of Fiji

The Reserve Bank officials can readily provide investors with complete information on the requirements relating to remittances offshore.  

Financing Investment 
Government encourages a competitive domestic financial market. Local investors are freely able to seek finance for their investments from domestic financial institutions, ranging from fully commercial banking institutions to concessionary development financiers. 

Foreign investors (companies) are allowed to borrow $3 for every $1 invested in Fiji and up to a total of F$10m from local lending institutions without the approval of the Reserve Bank of Fiji. Foreign investors wishing to borrow more than this delegated limit must apply to the Reserve Bank of Fiji through their designated lending institution. 

Individual foreign investors are subject to different rules depending on their purchase and should refer to the Reserve Bank of Fiji for clarification. 

 

Entitlement to Work Permits 
The Department of Immigration administers the Immigration Act, and its officers will provide investors with any information they require on its legislative provisions. All applications for work permits should be made to the Department of Immigration, in accordance with the forms and procedures specified therein. In addition, the Department of Immigration has within it a special unit that specifically handles the processing of all investment related work permits. 


All investors, local and foreign, may apply to theDepartment of Immigration ffor work permits to employ expatriate skilled technical personnel. In accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act, work permits for up to a maximum of three years may be granted at any one time to expatriates, whose skills are unavailable in the domestic labour market. Investors are expected to develop and implement plans to train locals to understudy these expatriate employees. 

Government therefore welcomes equally local and foreign private investors. Government is also strongly committed to stimulating and facilitating all private investment, whether from local or foreign sources.


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