Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fiji PM's Naivety Clear for All to See! - November 07, 2009

Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has used the annual gathering of business executives at the Exporter of the Year Awards to tell recalcitrant neighbours Australia and New Zealand that all is well between them and Fiji at the business level.

“We need to view and indeed separate the political from trade, tourism and the economy,” Bainimarama said to applause from the audience, in reference to this week’s tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions first by Fiji and followed by Australia and New Zealand.

Bainimarama said while the governments of Fiji, Australia and New Zealand had taken respective positions regarding their interaction at the political and diplomatic level, his government would not let “such issues affect or discourage trade, tourism, business co-operation, collaboration and investment”.

“On the contrary, we encourage more trade, investment and tourism between our traditional partners of Australia and New Zealand.”

Bainimarama said he again offered engagement at all levels with the two governments “on a level playing field in which our sovereignty and dignity is respected and maintained. Such engagement must encourage trade, investment and friendship for the mutual benefit of our countries”.

Among the early winners announced at the awards tonight are Affiliated Computer Services (FINTEL Information, Communication, Technology Services Exporter of the Year); Natural Foods Fiji Ltd (FSC Agro-Processing Exporter of the Year); Shangri-La Fijian Resort (MR Dayal Group of Companies Tourism Services Exporter of the Year) and, Tropik Wood Industries Ltd (Clyde Equipment (Pacific) Ltd Forestry Exporter of the Year).

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