SPEECH: HON. PRIME MINISTER JOSAIA VOREQE BAINIMARAMA AT EVENING RECEPTION WITH CHINESE INVESTORS IN BEIJING

Bula vinaka, Ni Hao and a very good evening to you all.

I’m very happy to be in China and especially to be able to spend some time with existing Chinese investors or people thinking of investing in Fiji.

We have a wonderful relationship with China and I’m here to tell you there are great opportunities to make money in Fiji, if you are not already doing so.

In fact the investment climate has never been better. We are having the longest running period of economic growth in our history.

For three years, we’ve had annual growth rates of four per cent of more. And I’m confident that we will soon crack the five per cent mark.

So the time to invest in Fiji is now. Don’t leave it too long or you risk missing the boat. Take advantage of all the benefits we can offer – as the hub of the Pacific and with some of the best investment incentives in the region.

We’ve got the lowest corporate taxes – a flat rate of 20 per cent and even less in some cases; No tax at all for up to 20 years depending on where you invest and how much;

No duty or reduced duty when you bring in plant, machinery or vehicles to start a business. The list goes on.

We’re especially keen to attract Chinese investment in the IT Industry; in manufacturing such as food processing, shipbuilding and vehicle manufacturing; in construction, renewable energy and, of course, in our biggest industry – Tourism.

We are getting increasing numbers of Chinese visitors to Fiji. In fact, seven times more Chinese are now holidaying in our country than five years ago. And there are great opportunities for Chinese investors to cater for this growing market.

So I encourage you all to explore the opportunities that are available either through our investment arm – Investment Fiji – or our diplomats in China.

I want to stress that we regard the protection of our environment as our over-riding development priority so whatever investment you consider must be environmentally friendly.

We also have a policy of zero tolerance of corruption and there are harsh penalties in Fiji for bribery and other forms of corruption. We want investors who are honest and balance their commercial interests with the interests of every Fijian.

To those of you in the room already doing business in Fiji, I ask you to spread the word about the opportunities that are available. And also thank you on behalf of the Fijian people for your own investment in Fiji.

We’ve been great friends with the Chinese people now for 40 years since we established diplomatic relations in 1975. And in my meetings tomorrow with both your President and Prime Minister, I will be thanking both of them for the support China has given Fiji and suggesting new ways in which we can expand the relationship.

Thank you all for coming this evening and I again encourage those who have not already done so to come to Fiji and ride the boom we are currently experiencing.

We are open for business. And are keen to do business with you.

Vinaka vakalevu. XieXie.