Fiji North-America Business Mission shows encouraging investment and trade opportunities for Fiji

Investment Fiji, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Cooperatives, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications, and the Fiji Trade Commission North America, recently concluded a promising Business Mission to North America.

Led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications, Honorable Manoa Kamikamica, the mission took place from May 4th to May 14th, 2024.

Investment Fiji Chief Executive Officer Kamal Chetty announced the mission’s outcomes, highlighting its success in engaging with the Fijian diaspora and fostering new business opportunities.

“We met hundreds of members of the diaspora communities in Surrey, San Francisco, and Toronto. Diaspora who have excelled in these countries and are thriving in their businesses have expressed interest in coming and investing in Fiji in various sectors, including agriculture and tourism. These are significant investors, and therefore we can say that the mission was promising,” stated Chetty.

Beyond business leaders, other diaspora members expressed a desire to return to Fiji to start their own businesses.

“Investment Fiji received numerous leads, and the next step involves following up with these potential investors to provide the necessary support and assistance,” added the Chief Executive Officer.

The mission also facilitated valuable connections for Fijian exporters who were introduced to numerous businesses in North America that showed keen interest in importing Fijian products.

Exporters who were part of the Business Mission participated in presentations from relevant customs and border authorities on the requirements and processes involved in exporting to the USA and Canada.

This provided them with a comprehensive understanding of exportation procedures.

“Our exporters visited several shops, engaged directly with business owners, and are currently in talks to proceed further. They were also educated on how products should be labeled and packed to meet North American standards,” mentioned Chetty.

The purpose of the 10-day Business Mission was to strengthen ties with the diaspora community, identify markets for local businesses, and attract investors keen on starting ventures in Fiji.

The delegation included 30 members, comprising Government officials, business leaders, and private sector representatives, showcasing Fiji’s diverse capabilities across sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, outsourcing, and tourism.

The mission also provided a platform for Government representatives and Agencies to conduct meetings with major companies such as Google and The Wonderful Company. These meetings offered first-hand information on the business ventures these companies are planning to start in Fiji, further enhancing the investment prospects for the country.

In Ontario, the delegation had productive talks with the Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Lisa Thompson, discussing economic growth in the BPO, agriculture, and ICT sectors, aiming to strengthen ties between Fiji and Canada. The delegation also visited Fiji Park in Brampton City, where Deputy Prime Minister Kamikamica planted a maple tree, symbolizing the enduring bond between Fiji and Canada.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Manoa Kamikamica for his dedication to the business mission and for the unwavering support we have received from the Ministry of Trade, Cooperatives, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications. I also sincerely appreciate the Fiji Trade Commission North America office, Trade Commissioner Alika Cooper, and his team for organizing all logistics, high-level meetings and organizing engagements with various diaspora associations in both countries. Additionally, I thank the Government Agencies for providing clarity and addressing concerns from the diaspora community and not forgetting the exporters who were part of the mission to learn and elevate their products to meet international standards,” said Chetty.

The delegation was accompanied by representatives from Investment Fiji, Fiji Airways, Fiji National Provident Fund, Outsource Fiji, Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, I-taukei Land Trust Board and BSP Life (Fiji) Limited.

“I also wish to thank the Surrey Board of Trade for their support during the Business Forum in Surrey, Canada and the Special Advisor to the Premier in Ontario, Canada Mr. Anish Dwivedi for arranging a visit and meetings for the delegation at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.”

A special thanks to the diaspora community, including the iTaukei Cultural Society of Canada, Fiji Canada Association, and the Fiji Association of Ontario, for their invaluable time and effort in bringing the diaspora together,” mentioned the Chief Executive Officer.

“A huge appreciation goes to Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Canada Mr. Bobby Naicker, Fiji’s Honorary Consul in South San Francisco Mr. Jay Singh, Fiji’s Honorary Consul in Los Angeles Mr. Vinod Bhindi for their outstanding support towards the Business Mission.”

The Business Mission included visits to major economic hubs in North America, including Surrey and Toronto in Canada and San Francisco in the United States of America.

Through business forums, networking events, Government-to-Government and Business-to-Business meetings, the mission fostered collaboration and partnerships between Fiji and North American stakeholders, paving the way for future economic growth and prosperity.