Friday, November 13, 2009

Lift Fiji bans - 13/11/2009

An Australian-based organisation has thrown its support towards the Fiji Government.

The Australia Fiji Business Council (AFBC) says people must realise that the situation in Fiji is a reality.

The Council condemns travel sanctions placed upon the Government, its appointments, family members and its supporters.

Council President, Brian Anderson, said the AFBC had always opposed travel bans because they believe it limits the ability of both the public and private sector from recruiting and training the best available talent.

“The definition on whom the travel bans apply must be clear and unambiguous. It should impinge on family members who have no ability to influence the current situation or on civilians who accept certain Government appointments which are of national importance and not simply because they are supporters of the Government,” Mr Anderson said.

“As indicated, it dilutes the talent available to business and creates uncertainty.

“Business and investment will not develop when there is uncertainty in relation to freedom of movement,” he said.

The AFBC have called on both Australia and Fiji to set aside their differences and re-engage to find a resolution to the current impasse of tit for tat politics.

“While the AFBC does not condone the coup, we understand that it is a reality and that Fiji will eventually have to find a way forward,” Mr Anderson said.

“The relationship between our two countries extends over 150 years. It belongs to the people, and governments are temporary custodians of this and they must ensure it is not damaged because of future generations.”

Mr Anderson said another important factor was the agreement in principle of Forum countries to enter into dialogue with Australia and New Zealand regarding a Pacific Free Trade Agreement ‘Pacer Plus’.

He said it was not conceivable that such an agreement could be forged without Fiji playing a part

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