Manufacturing has an immense potential in Fiji. The Fijian government is building a sustainable and globally competitive manufacturing sector through targeted assistance and a sound enabling environment for the private sector.
One of the most thriving sectors within Fiji’s growing economy is the manufacturing sector. This sector includes textiles, garments, footwear, sugar, tobacco, food processing, beverages (including mineral water) and wood based industries. Value addition opportunities are also being promoted by the Fijian Government to all sectors for export purposes. For this purpose, Government offers good geological potential, transparent fiscal policies, political stability and a sound regulatory environment.
Manufacturing is a major sector in the economy, having contributed 11.77 percent of GDP in 2020. The sector has been forecasted to grow by 0.3 percent in 2021 driven by higher manufacturing of food, mineral water, dairy products, poultry & meat and the preserving of fish. Export earnings from manufactured products contribute 4 - 5% to total domestic exports. A few of the notable Fijian Made products which contributed immensely to Fijis domestic exports in 2020 includes mineral water, gold, sugar, wood chips, kavaor yaqona, tuna, flour, taro (Colocasia spp.) and Sweet biscuits. The Fijian Trade Policy Framework articulates measures to provide greater support to manufacturers of all industries by way of securing market access, value addition promotion, trade facilitation, trade promotion, information sharing and capacity building.
Government also recognises the importance of certifying Fiji timber produced from sustainably managed and legally operated operations in maintaining access to export markets. With assistance from Government, Fiji has registered its own “Fiji Pure Mahogany” brand in 22 countries and associated certification process for its unique and sustainable mahogany resource.
The “Fijian Made and Buy Fijian Campaign” was initiated by the Fijian Government in 2009 primarily to promote and raise the profile of Fijian made products and produce, both domestically and internationally through a national branding strategy. The focus has largely been on manufactured items, such as food (animal & vegetable products); clothing and wood made items such as furniture and handicrafts. This initiative supports Government’s import substitution policy aimed at promoting production of items which are heavily imported but can be easily produced or grown in the country.
- Fiji offers a ‘near source’, cost effective alternative to Australia and New Zealand production and is also on a similar time zone to both countries.
- Opportunities for creating premium products for niche markets.
- Agricultural commodities make up 8.3% of GDP and contributed around 60.1% in share to 2020 National Trade Value. Major opportunities exist in this industry by way of manufacturing of organic certified products, including coconut and fruit products and nutraceuticals which are in high demand from overseas markets.
- Fiji is also a flexible and local alternative to China and other volume sources.
- Good English-speaking labour force as Fiji’s literacy rate is around 99%.
- Duty exemption on all raw materials imported for manufacturing and later exported.
- Fiji is the center of trade in the Pacific and has transformed into a hub for global communication and transportation routes.
- Availability of factories, land and buildings at reasonable rates.
- Fiji is signatory to various trade agreements which allows for better market access and provides a conducive investment climate and opportunities with other countries.
- There is also increasing business need for warehousing and storage facilities.