Posts tagged Korean Embassy

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Speech at the Opening of the Korean Embassy

Bula vinaka, An-yong Haseyo, and a very good morning to you.

I bring you good tidings and the well wishes of my people from the Republic of Fiji on this historic occasion, as we come together, from near and far, to be part of the official opening of Fiji’s Embassy in South Korea.

I thank you all for your presence here today; it speaks volumes of your support for Fiji, a Pacific island nation that is more than 8, 000 kilometers from Seoul.

I would also like to express my deep appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to the people and the Government of Korea – in particular, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs – for all the assistance and diplomatic courtesies accorded to me and my delegation, and especially for its assistance in the setting up of our new Fijian Embassy here in Seoul.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The opening of Fiji’s Embassy today is symbolic of my Government’s commitment to be vigorously engaged with the international community. Our joining of the Non-Aligned Movement and our ‘Look North Policy’ forms part of this overall strategy.

The opening of new missions recently in South Africa, Brasil, Indonesia and now here in Korea, and in a couple of months time in the United Arab Emirates is part of our objective to forge new friendships and strengthen existing ones. In this process we open new markets for our goods and services, invite investment, develop and modernize our economy, and improve the lives of all Fijians.

Out two nations have had a close relationship for more than four decades. In that time, Fiji has benefited greatly from technical and developmental assistance provided by the government of the Republic of Korea.

Over the past three years in particular, due to both our Government’s efforts to forge closer ties, trade between our two countries has increased steadily. In 2011, trade increased by 32%.

As international trade continues to increase and Fiji’s economy continues to expand, my Government is committed to ensuring that transparency, stability and integrity form the foundations of our economic development. This instills confidence in those looking to conduct business in Fiji.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe that Fiji has many exciting investment and partnership opportunities for Koreans. We also offer a number of attractive incentives for investment. Our geographical location in the South-pacific, coupled with modern infrastructure, telecommunications and financial services makes Fiji a natural hub for investment.

There is also great potential for partnership in science, medicine, and technology. Fiji is a developing market in all of these sectors and is actively seeking investment and knowledge transfer.

In addition to creating an environment that is conducive to investment, Fiji also has the ability to offer many niche export products that are not available elsewhere in the world. We have been a leader in the Pacific for ensuring that our products comply with international standards. In addition, many of our products take advantage of our pristine environment. Many of these products have proudly been displayed at the Yeosu Expo over the course of the past month.

In fact, my Government has launched the Fijian Made and Buy Fijian initiative, which seeks not only to develop awareness within Fiji, but also to highlight our unique products in the international marketplace.

The presence of Fiji’s private sector, with me today demonstrates the commitment of the Fijian people to broadening our trade and relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my Government’s work to foster strong economic growth in Fiji has been accompanied by electoral and constitutional reforms. The successful launch of the Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) and the commencement of constitutional consultations process confirm our commitment to the achievement of a fundamental reform of democratic and governmental institutions in Fiji.

For the first time Fijians will go to the polls as individuals, free to chose the candidate they believe will best uphold the policies and principles that are important to them. They will not be categorized by their ethnicity, and they will not be discriminated against because of their gender or their religion. All Fijians over the age of 18 will have an equal and individual vote.

This commitment to transparency, credibility and stability also provides a reassuring message to investors and the international community that my government is serious about its intention to rebuild Fiji into a stable, peaceful, prosperous and a truly democratic nation.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I now have much pleasure in officially declaring the Fijian Embassy to the Republic of Korea, open.

Kamsa-hamnida and Vinaka Vakalevu.