PRIME MINISTER BAINIMARAMA ATTENDS ISO CONFERENCE

The Fijian sugar cane industry is on the verge of an exciting new era of growth and diversification with the reforms undertaken by the Government, said Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The Prime Minister made this comment after the first day of the 45th International Sugar Organisation Council conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The Prime Minister is currently representing Fiji at the Conference, which features high level representatives from the world’s top sugar producing nations as well as some of the world’s biggest sugar markets.

The Prime Minister said that Government and the Fiji Sugar Corporation need to have a comprehensive understanding of the trajectory of the global sugar markets in order to position Fiji’s sugar cane industry for long-term stability and growth.

“Considering the industry’s importance to Fiji’s economy and to the many thousands of people who depend on it for their livelihood, it is imperative that we actively participate in these forums so that we can stay on top of what’s happening in the world of sugar,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.

The Prime Minister said the Conference also offers an important opportunity to share experience with other sugar producing countries, some of which can be returned to Fiji.

“We need to learn what other countries are doing to see if there are any lessons that we can implement here to boost the reforms already underway,” he said.

He said that the reforms are leading to an increase in cane production and the upgrading and modernizing of Fiji’s sugar mills.

The permanent secretary for Sugar, Manasa Vaniqi reinforced the Prime Minister’s comments and said that the Conference serves to give Fiji a global insight into the current trends in the international sugar market.

He added that Government is committed to the industry and that the experience they gained at the conference will enhance the sugar reforms.