Posts tagged Natadola

PM Bainimarama Speech at Launch of PGA Fiji International

Bula vinaka and good afternoon.

We all know the golf community has a language of its own. Birdies and bogies – bends and hooks – woods and irons. Now, a lot of this is new to me. So when someone asked me once if our Minister for Youth and Sports was a “scratch” golfer, I replied “Sure he is, every time he hits the ball he scratches his head and wonders where it’s gone.”

It’s a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to announce plans for what will become one of Fiji’s largest and most prestigious sporting events: the Fiji International.

This annual golf tournament is set to be the newest leg on the PGA’s tour of Australasia. The first tee-off is scheduled to broadcast to the world in August 2014, hosted at the beautiful Natadola Bay Golf Course, becoming a permanent fixture on the tour for the years to come.

The signing of today’s MOU is a significant moment for Fiji because it demonstrates that the PGA has faith in our country to hold one of its major events. Faith in our infrastructure. Faith in our economy.  And faith in our people. I am here to say that we are equal to the opportunity and look forward to a strong and lasting relationship with the PGA.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As one of the world’s most popular sports, golf is a major niche tourism market with huge growth potential in Fiji, poised to take advantage of the game’s rapidly growing popularity in Asia.

That’s why we’re so excited that the PGA is coming here. A PGA golf tournament is a major international event of the highest caliber, attracting some of the game’s best professionals.

Although Fiji has long offered some of the best golf courses in the region, both to our visitors and to our local golfers, the Fiji International will rightfully establish it as one of the world’s top golfing destinations.

With a potential broadcast reach to more than 400 million people across 40 countries, the tournament will showcase Fiji as a must-visit golf and tourist location in countless homes around the globe.

This is very good news for our Tourism Industry. And this is very good news for our economy.

Indeed, we expect the tournament to lead directly to a multi-million dollar boost for Fiji, with many additional flow-on benefits.

One such benefit is that this tournament will increase the value of the FNPF-owned land in Natadola. As a result, after the second stage of development work there, the FNPF will achieve a higher rate of return when it sells or leases that land, profiting all of the funds’ current members, as well as all future generations of members.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As many of you are aware, the Fijian Government has launched an extensive campaign over the course of the last couple years to completely revamp “Brand Fiji” – including with the recent launch of the new Fiji Airways.

“Fiji, where happiness finds you”.  Not just a slogan, but a belief that Fiji truly has something unique to offer our visitors, who are welcomed with the famous Fijian hospitality, a kind not found anywhere else.

So as Fijians, we take our national brand seriously. We are very proud of our home and we want to make sure that pride is reflected whenever we attach our name to something.

Well, the Fiji International PGA golf tournament is certainly something we Fijians can be proud about.  It will give us a fantastic avenue to promote our beautiful nation and show the world what we have to offer.

In fact, I doubt that anyone tuning in at home will view the stunning aerial shots of Natadola and not be tempted to immediately start planning their next holiday.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to keep my remarks brief this afternoon.

With these few words, on behalf of the Government and the Fijian people, it is now my pleasure to welcome the PGA to Fiji.

Vinaka Vakelevu. Thank you.

Closing Remarks by the Chair of the Group of 77, Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama

Honourable Presidents,

Honourable Prime Ministers,

Ministers, Excellencies,

Distinguished Participants,

1.    Now that we have arrived at the end of our meeting, I would like to thank you all most sincerely for your productive engagement during these two days of our deliberations.  I would like to express on my own behalf, as well as that of the Government of Fiji, sincere words of appreciation to all of you members of this distinguished panel for your excellent contributions.  As Chair of G77 and China I say on behalf of our full membership of 132 nations, vinaka vaka levu, thank you very much.

2.    The outcome has been very successful. We have agreed that developing countries have accumulated degrees of development capacity that can be shared and viably used through a solid platform of South-South cooperation. We heard during this meeting a number of very insightful presentations on the important subject of South-South cooperation, which is of utmost importance for the Member States of the Group of 77 and China.

3.    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

South-South Cooperation is a key element in the development agenda of our countries. It is imperative that we construct a strong platform for ourselves, harnessing political will, as we move forward. We have also emphasized that the obligation of the North to financially and technically support the South remains. Thus in the interests of global harmony, equity and development we must strengthen the development commitments of North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. We have agreed that the current international architecture needs to be restructured in order to respond to the new realities and opportunities for development.

4.    We have also agreed on the need to reinforce the co-ordination of developing countries in our policy and joint negotiating positions on major issues in the international agenda. Strengthening existing multilateral funding mechanisms for South-South Cooperation and promoting regional, inter-regional and sub-regional sectoral cooperation in strategic fields have also been identified as important determinants in this endeavor.

5.    The Development Platform for the South is an invaluable tool for guiding and strengthening multilateral South-South cooperation. It will provide a pathway for the South in approaching the international economic arena.  Furthermore, the Platform is a strategic tool for political guidance, a compass for the South, which contains the goals and aspirations for economic growth and prosperity in the South. It will contribute to building South-North coalitions on development and related issues of global interest such as climate change, biodiversity, natural disasters, and sustainable development in global governance. It will optimize the voice and participation of developing countries in the international fora.

6.    As we look back at the interactive dialogue we have engaged here in Natadola, we can conclude without a doubt that our deliberations have been full and substantive. There was a high level of agreement that South-South cooperation can produce greater results and that time has come to invest more efforts and resources into this cooperation. In this regard, we call on the UN System and all development partners to make it a priority to promote South-South cooperation in order to secure real progress in countries of the South.

7.    Let me assure you that South-South cooperation will continue to represent the best form of solidarity, self-reliance and interdependence among the members of the Group of 77 and China, and we will pursue our work with the same sense of commitment and vigour, for the unity and solidarity of the Group.

8.    In conclusion, as your host, allow me to express once again our sincere thanks to all of you distinguished panel members and resource personnel for your dedication to the success of the Panel.

9.    Last but not the least, let me thank Mr. Mourad Ahmia, our Executive Secretary, and his team in New York for the excellent arrangements made for the success of this Panel.  My thanks also go to all of the hardworking staff of the Fiji Government who have contributed directly or indirectly to the smooth functioning of this meeting.

I wish all of you all a safe return trip home and look forward to joining you at this evening’s reception being hosted by His Excellency the President of Fiji.

Vinaka Vakalevu.