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This blog is brought to you by Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, a financial advisory services and consulting company based in Suva, Fiji.
To contact the authors of this blog, please call telephones (679) 3342719, (679) 3544897 or e-mail info@gilbert.com.fj.


Friday, March 31, 2006

China-Fiji deal

A Memorandum of Understanding between Fiji and China to promote cooperation in the field of transport infrastructure development and civil aviation, has been approved by Government. Planning and design of transport infrastructure, engineering construction, operation and supply of equipment are included and covers roads and highways, bridges, airports, ports and civil aviation. The Memorandum also provides for financing of projects.

Rise in Indigenous Fijian businesses expected

The Fiji Indigenous Business Council said that they expected to see a rise in businesses owned by indigenous Fijians over the next few years. The Council said that while they had seen a rise in membership since they started, most of these businesses were classified as small enterprises.

Common challenges for these businesses include lack of capital, inadequate skills, lack of management acumen and a saturated market to compete in. Most were also late comers to the ventures/industries they were in.

Note from GV : There are a host of businesses and ventures that foreign investors can get into with Fiji citizens/residents. As indicated, one of the main problems is equity for their businesses or their ideas. Indigenous Fijians, however, are very well endowed with natural and land resources which can be tapped. Foreign investors wishing to scope out business opportunities with indigenous Fijians can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, for assistance on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Communications Fiji Limited records F$1 million profit

Summarised from an article in the Fiji Times.

Communications Fiji Limited, a company listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Suva, Fiji, has posted a profit of F$1 million for 2005. The company declared that they had achieved a 62% rise in profits in 1005 from a little over F$600,000 in 2004.

The company said that the increase was a result of strong growth in their Fiji operations and also because of their Papua New Guinea radio station returning to profitability.

A final dividend of 3 cents per share has been declared and will be paid out on 2 May.

Note for investors : The Fiji Government has concessions and incentives in place to encourage companies to list on the Suva Stock Exchange to encourage development of the stock and capital markets in Fiji. For assistance on what these are and how one can list on the exchange, you can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Food stocks low on island

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

An island in the Lau Group is running out of groceries because of irregular shopping services there. The people of Nayau Island rely on the island's only cooperative store for basic food necessities like oil, flour, rice and sugar. It has been four weeks since the store was able to restock when the vessel servicing the island was last there.

The irregular shipping service has also affected the island's ability to deliver copra to a company in Suva.

Shipping to the island has been an ongoing problem despite the introduction of government's shipping franchise scheme. Government had allocated F$2 million in its 2006 Budget for improvements in the shipping scheme.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that need assistance to set up business or invest in Fiji can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, for advice and to secure all necessary licences, permits and approvals needed. Our contacts are telephone number +679 3396427 and e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

New loan scheme for cane farmers

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

A new loan scheme, approved yesterday for cane farmers, is expected to boost production by more than 1.25 million tonnes. According to the industry's reform plans, production had to be around 4.25 million tonnes within the next three years.

The assistance, however, would only be provided to cane farmers intending to increase their production. The unique feature of the facility is that it was a four year loan with a low interest rate of 2%. No application fees are required.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation, the sugar miller, said that it will assist by identifying suitable candidates for assistance.

Colonial puts up interest rates

Colonial National Bank yesterday announced an increase in interest rates for its savings and lending products. The decision followed an increase in official interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

Colonial's fixed rate housing loans, floating rate housing loans and business banking base rate would all rise from between 0.5% to 1%. The bank's 12-month term deposit will earn up to 3.2%, 24 month term deposit up to 3.5% and the 36-month term deposit up to 4% per annum.

The bank said that it was aware of the need to maintain a competitive position and would continually review their products and services.

The increase in rates will be effective from Saturday, 1 April.

Note from GV : Fiji residents that need investment advice can call us on +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj. Foreign investors that need assistance to set up business or invest in Fiji can also use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, and contact us through the same telephone number and e-mail.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Synergy to open new call centre in Fiji

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Synergy Development Corporation is expected to open a new call centre in Fiji soon is negotiations with Government goes through. The company is a subsidiary of Telephone Pacific (TELPAC) of the United States and is an international consultancy and physical international call centre for US medium-sized corporations wishing to move call centre operations offshore.

The setup is designed to create strategies for relocating call centres from within the US to optimal markets in foreign countries that offer financial advantages to both the US corporations and the countries in which they relocate.

The company is expected to employ more than 2,500 employees worldwide and to operate in countries ranging from Fiji and Brazil, to South Africa.

The company's Phase I operations in Fiji will serve as an outbound international call centre under US contracts to contact the companies' North American client base and perform market surveys on behalf of the contracted American corporations. This will employ up to 100 Fiji workers.

Phase II will see the addition of an inbound international call centre that will serve the North American client base of those corporations, which will employ a further 75 Fiji workers and will be implemented within three years.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that need assistance to set up business or to invest in Fiji can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited. Our contacts are telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

European Union may give further aid funds to Fiji

The European Union may give further aid to Fiji in addition to the F$54.2 million provided this year to fund education section programs in the country. EU director general trade, Stefano Manservisi, said negotiations on the actual amount were still being carried out but Fiji would likely get the same amount or more.

Currently the EU is following up on a submission for a sugar reform plan from the Fiji Government for around F$6 million that was to be given as aid to restructure and reform the sugar industry in Fiji. The EU has said that if the sugar plan is not provided Fiji may stand to lose out on the funds targeted for the sugar industry. No comments have been provided by Fiji Sugar Corporation Chairman, Ross McDonald. Government has, however, said that the plan is being developed and will be ready by end April.

The EU has provided aid for a number of projects in Fiji recently. Some of these include the construction of the new Rewa Bridge at Nausori, the expansion of the Lautoka Teachers' College and the construction of the Naboro Landfill to manage waste and create energy.

Consumers advised to shop around for interest rates

Consumers have been advised to shop around for interest rates that suit their pockets following an increase in bank interest rates last week. The Consumer Council of Fiji expects that the increase in interest rates would affect consumer spending and will directly affect mortgage rates. The Council said that consumer who foresee paying a higher interest rate may want to consider refinancing to take advantage of the stability of a fixed rate mortgage. It said that for that a consumer should consider the terms of the present loan, the cost of the new loan and the borrower's long term needs.

Banks in Fiji raised their interest rates after another official interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Fiji and an increase in statutory reserve deposit requirements which banks hold in cash with the central bank. The move is expected to impinge on consumer spending which has been rising to dangerous levels according to the Reserve Bank.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fiji's potential for call centres

Summarised from an article in the Fiji Times.

Quest ANZ is moving the bulk of its operations to the Kalabo Tax Free Zone as it expands its business. Quest is the ANZ Bank's internal regional call centre and provides centralised support to ANZ's electronic banking, finance and IT businesses across the entire Pacific region.

These functions were previously carried out in Melbourne and in other countries in the region before they were moved to Suva.

Quest started with 27 permanent and 20 part-time staff but this complement has increased to 100 staff with some working 24 hour shifts. Staff levels are expected to increase further when the operation moves to Kalabu in July.

Quest said that Kalabu was chosen after a study of several locations. The new facility at Kalabu will have a parents' room where mothers can feed their babies as well as a mini-gym.

Quest is the first ICT company to move into the Kalabo Tax Free Zone, which was initially designed for garment manufacturers. Modifications by the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau has made the site suitable for ICT companies.

Fiji is being promoted as an ideal location for setting up call centres because of its cheap labour and high literacy levels. There are new government incentives for companies wishing to set up business in this industry.

Note from GV : Foreign investors wishing to set up business or invest in Fiji can contact us at Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Rice production critical

Summarised from an article in the Fiji Times.

Rice production in Fiji is a critical area that needs to be improved, according to the Ministry for Agriculture. Rice is a main staple good for Fiji citizens. Total consumption of rice is estimated at 55,000 tonnes annually. Local paddy production is about 14,000 tonnes.

The development of the rice industry in Fiji was a priority for Government since the 1960s. Government and donor agencies have implemented a number of rice irrigation schemes in the Northern and Central Divisions. New rice development areas were established through improvement of drainage networks under the Government's rehabilitation program.

Due to Government's deregulation policy in the 1980s and a shift in emphasis from import substitution to export-led growth, focus on rice production has been afforded a lower priority. This has caused a continuous decline in local paddy production over the years.

An outcome of this has seen the latest call by the Agriculture Ministry to improve local rice production.

Private sector benefits from Centre for Development of Enterprise

Fiji's private sector has benefited greatly from aid given by the Centre for Development of Enterprise (CDE). This is reflected in the number of projects that have benefited through technical assistance or aid. Some of the companies that have been assisted by CDE are Pure Fiji, United Apparel, Modern Furniture, Golden Manufacturers, SPADE Limited and Starest Furniture.

CDE was set up jointly by the European Union and the ACP States to develop and strengthen the ACP private sector.

PROINVEST is a program set up in 2002 to promote investment in ACP countries. PROINVEST operations are managed by CDE.

Price index up

The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2 per cent last month compared to January. Increases were noted in prices for housing, durable household goods, transport services and medical goods, toiletries, laundry and other household items. The average inflation rate for the 12 months to February stood at 2.2%.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

IMF supports Pacific Plan

The International Monetary Fund endorsed the Pacific Plan and is keen to liaise with stakeholders to ensure economic prosperity in the region. IMF deputy managing director, Mr Augustin Carstens, emphasised the Fund's support for the Pacific Plan.

The Pacific Plan, which is being developed and has been discussed by Pacific Forum Ministers, looks at encouraging good economic governance, and emphasised the need to promote the private sector, strengthen public enterprise reforms, address corruption and law and order problems, and encourage integration and trade liberalisation.

For details on the plan, please visit www.forumsec.org.fj.

Central bank tightens monetary policy further

The Reserve Bank yesterday took further measures to tighten liquidity by announcing an increase in reserve deposit requirements for banks effective from 8 May. The Reserve Bank said that credit was growing faster than economic growth and information leading to an "excessive rise in indebtedness".

The measure will see that the Statutory Reserve Deposit Requirement rise from 5% to 7%. The increase effectively means that funds that banks have available for lending will fall by 2% and will be kept with the Reserve Bank. This is an instrument to directly control the level of credit in an economy.

Why the Reserve Bank has chosen this instrument again is anyone's guess after it changed its policy stance into an interest rate focus, a few years ago. Could it be that their focus on interest rates was not effective? There will definitely be some interesting comments from academics in the next few days.

However, the banks yesterday expressed concern over the latest action by the Reserve Bank saying that it would have a negative impact on investment. The bank's said that there was several hundred million dollars of projects still to happen over the next 12 month and that this would be difficult to fund with tightening liquidity. Westpac said that in trying to slow consumer spending, banks do not want to stifle investment spending.

ANZ said that it was unfortunate that only the banks were targeted when consumer credit had grown by as much as 20% at other financial and hire purchase institutions. Westpac agreed to that as well.

Westpac Fiji increases interest rates

Westpac Fiji has announced increases to its interest rates which will take effect from Monday, 27 March. The increases have been a flow-on effect of last month's hike in official interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

The increases cover bank's retail savings accounts and reference rates for business and consumer lending.

This is the first increase in Westpac's interest rates since the Reserve Bank began tightening monetary policy in May 2004.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Banks raise interest rates

Taken from the Fiji Times.

The cost of borrowing has risen after rates were increased by the three major banks in the country this week. ANZ and Colonial National Bank raised interest rates this week, with Westpac due to announce rates rise today. This comes a month after the Reserve Bank of Fiji raised the official interest rate by 1% to 3.25%.

ANZ announced an increase in interest rates for a range of consumer and business loans, as well as savings products. It said that the increase was unavoidable and was a direct result of the third successive interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank. ANZ said that while borrowing costs would rise, the increase was positive for savings as deposit rates would also increase.

Colonial National Bank has also raised their home loan rates earlier this week. No public statements was made by the Bank on the issue.

Pacific Green Industries (Fiji) Limited ends year with a loss

Pacific Green Industries (Fiji) Limited, one of the company's listed on the local stock exchange, ended 2005 with a loss of over F$500,000. The loss was a direct result of the fire which engulfed the factory's premises in 2004. Write-off expenses from relocation and reequiping of the new manufacturing and processing operations also contributed to the loss. Legal costs in pursuit of the company's legitimate claim against its insurance company also contributed to the loss. This was against revenue of F$10.6 million. Revenue in 2004 was F$7.6 million.

For the future, PGI has reaffirmed its traditional market base and has positive expansion plans using a new design concept to substantially increase market share. The company now also has the architectural building products in production and is looking forward to a successful result of its legal action against the insurance company. The company has also reaffirmed its commitment to Fiji and the Pacific Islands.

The company looks forward to a profitable 2006 and said this would rely on continuing world stability and good economic conditions to match their commitment in making world class furniture and building materials and selling them through dealerships around the world.

PGI has an operation in China and distributors in North America, Asia, The Middle East and throughout the Pacific region.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More gold found at Fiji mine

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Recent underground drilling at the Vatukoula gold mines have indicated that there are high gold grades underneath the areas being drilled. Emperor Mines Limited said that this discovery was good as the company had been making losses in recent months. The mining of new found deposits would help the company make a turnaround into profitability. Gold prices as well have been at very good prices on the global markets.

Note from GV : Foreign investors wishing to invest or set up a business in Fiji, can use our company's services, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, for advice and to assist with getting all necessary information and approvals/permits. We can be contacted on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Momi Bay land sales attract buyers

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

The first public sale of lots in the premium Momi Bay area was largely taken advantage of by locals. Of the 19 lots sold at the on-site open days on Saturday and Sunday, 15 were bought by local residents.

Those that visited the site were impressed with the scale and the quality of what is being done there, despite the fact that it is still under development.

Panoramic views from most sections over the golf course and the Marriott Hotel and out to see were also a strong selling feature.

A further 10 sales is expected to be concluded in the next few days with sale prices ranging from $300,000 to $800,000 for sections ranging from 1,000 square metres to 4,500 square metres.

Over 60 of the 140 lots in the 140 hectare development, which includes a Marriott Resort and Spa Hotel and a USPGA standard golf course have been sold to Fijian nationals with a significant number sold to expatriates living in Fiji. The project will be publicly launched in Australia and New Zealand by early next month.

Residents will have access to most of the Marriott's facilities and would also receive a complementary joining membership of the Thomson Perett designed golf course.

The Marriott Resort and Spa and the first nine holes of the golf course were due to open early next year. It will be centred on a large internal lagoon and will include 250 guest rooms overlooking the lagoon and 22 canoe-styled bures in the centre of the lagoon. There will also be 61 two- and three-bedroom golf course villas with full kitchens and private plunge pools.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fiji's Investment Incentives

In today's post, we look at the investment incentives that are in place for foreign investors wishing to invest in Fiji.

One of Government's key objectives is to attract much needed private sector investment into the country. Fiji offers private investors an attractive and generous package of incentives and concessions for their investment contribution and enterprise activities to raise the level of private sector investment in Fiji.

Fiji's incentive and concession package for investors currently includes the following core elements:
  • Accelerated depreciation allowance - Fiji offers a generous and extended accelerated depreciation allowance on all buildings constructed.
  • Low import duties on production inputs - Fiji offers a low three percent duty rate on imported production inputs.
  • Low import duties on construction materials and capital machinery - the duty rate on imported construction materials is a low three percent, whilst capital machinery can be imported duty free.
  • Duty suspension scheme - the duty and value added tax (VAT) levied on any raw materials used in the production of exported goods is waived. Provided that imported goods are intended for manufacturing and processing than exported.
  • Tax deductions on export income - Fiji offers a schedule of generous tax concessions on export incomes.

In addition, Fiji offers very attractive tax incentives and concessions packages on investments in specific economic sectors with a high potential for expansion and development. These currently include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism-related investment concessions
  • Film making and audio-visual incentives
  • Mining investment concessions
  • Aquaculture/Fisheries sector investment concessions
  • Agriculture
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT)

For more details, click on this link http://www.ftib.org.fj/invest-fiji-incentives.cfm.

Foreign investors that wish to set up business or invest in Fiji can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, to do all the necessary work for them in obtaining approvals, licences and permits. We can be contacted by e-mail on gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reasons to invest in Fiji

We will be providing a few posts on reasons to invest in Fiji and an outline of investment policies that we have here including some testimonials from foreign investors who have invested in Fiji. First, we begin with some reasons which could encourage a foreign investor to invest in Fiji.

There are a host of reasons to encourage a foreign investor to invest in Fiji. Some of these include :
  • Preferential access to Australian and New Zealand markets under SPARTECA, to the Canadian and Japanese markets under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Agreement, to PNG, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands under the Bi-lateral (BTA)and the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreements (MSG), and access to the European markets under ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement. The ACP-EU Cotonou Convention (Previously known as LOME Convention) offers preferential access for Fiji's sugar to the EU market through the Sugar Protocol;
  • Easy repatriation of capital and profits;
  • An adaptable, productive, industrially disciplined and English speaking labour force with competitive wage rates;
  • A well balanced package of financial incentives and other assistance schemes including a customs duty and VAT suspension scheme for manufacturing for export;
  • Sophisticated telecommunication links with fibre optic cable connections with the rest of the world;
  • A well developed infrastructure, including electricity, water supplies and internal communications.

For information, please click on this link http://www.ftib.org.fj/invest-fiji-reasons.cfm.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

More "fantastic sheep" exports

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Fiji intends to export more of its specialised sheep to Pacific Island countries this year. The Ministry of Agriculture said that it had received a request for the "Fiji Fantastic" breed of sheep this year from Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

The Solomon Islands national agriculture council meeting in Honiara last week discussed plans to import 100 of the sheep.

So far 88 sheep consisting of 80 breeding ewes and 8 rams had been exported. Forty ewes and 4 rams were exported to Samoa in 2004 while the same number was exported to Tonga last year.

Breeding rams were sold at F$4,000.00 each while breeding ewes were sold at F$3,000.00 each.

Sheep experts are sent along with the export of sheep to assist the importing countries to conduct a one week sheep training management training as part of the material transfer agreement.

The "Fiji Fantastic" breed of sheep was developed in Fiji to suit the tropical conditions in the Pacific. Some of its unique features included its ability to shed 90% of its wool while the remainder was "goat-hair" like, making it adaptable to the tropics. The sheep has very lean meat. It also boasts high reproductive abilities with ewes able to produce twins or triplets. It has a fast growth rate and low mortality.

Friday, March 17, 2006

More demand for electricity

Urbanisation has brought about more demand for electricity in Fiji. However the bulk of the rural areas are still not adequately supplied with it. Some observations have been made that these areas need to be better serviced to facilitate development.

Fiji's heavy reliance on diesel generators has also been a cause for concern. Moves to promote renewable energy sources has seen Government providing a number of concessions and benefits to companies that intend to provide renewable energy services.

In some latest news, the Fiji Sugar Corporation has announced plans to generate energy and sell it for an estimated F$34 million . The Corporation said that with the reduction in global sugar prices, it would embark on co-generation to keep it profitable. Energy produced by the Corporation will be sold to the Fiji Electricity Authority.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Air Pacific eyes 787s

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Air Pacific will finalise a F$1.3 billion deal to purchase five wide-bodied aircraft. The airline would not disclose there the purchase was from Boeing or Airbus. The aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2011.

The airline plans to ensure that Fiji has adequate seat capacity to meet future tourism growth with new resort developments that were planned. It will be able to offer in excess of three million seats per annum when the order is complete.

Aviation magazine, Flight International, said Air Pacific was considering proposals for A350-900s and 787-9s. However, sources close to the airline stated that the carrier appeared to bee intent on ordering 787s rather than the A350s.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Expo to strengthen trade relations

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Fiji is one of the countries participating in the Pacific Trade Expo in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau said that while locally made products have already established a competitive reputation in international markets like Australia and New Zealand, the Expo gave Fiji another chance to enhance its reputation.

Fijian products on display include garments, agricultural produce, flour products, mattresses, manufactured items and hand crafted jewellery.

New Zealand is Fiji's largest export destination in the Pacific region, contributing F$52.8 million in total exports in 2005. It continues to be an important market for Fiji's goods and services.

Note from GV : Foreign investors wishing to set up businesses or to invest in Fiji can use our company's services, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited. Our contacts are e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Investment Opportunities in Vanua Levu, Fiji

We represent clients who have a private island and natural spring water resources in Vanua Levu.

The clients have some ground plans to develop the island into a resort location with up-market two- and one-bedroom villas for tourists. The island has access to one of the biggest barrier reefs around Fiji, which has potential for both reef viewing/snorkeling and deep sea fishing. Vanua Levu is less developed and commercialised for tourism purposes than Viti Levu and some of its offshore islands. It would pose an extremely attractive holiday destination for tourists seeking a very natural and undisturbed environment.

The clients also have a natural water source which tests have revealed to be better than the "Fiji Water" brand. Plans to extract and export this resource are also being considered.

The clients are looking for foreign investors/partners with the necessary capital resources and experience to help develop these resources.

For further information on these opportunities, please contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, by e-mail on gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Money Growth Strong

Money and credit aggregates continued to grow strongly in the year to December 2005, the Reserve Bank of Fiji's latest review revealed.

Total commercial banks deposits rose by 15.7% to around F$2.4 billion by end 2005, largely due to higher placements by private sector businesses and private individuals in demand and time deposits.

The demand for funds also rose during the review period, with commercial banks' lending increasing by 22.8% to around F$2 billion. The outturn was underpinned by higher lending to private individuals, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, building and construction, professional and business services, and the transport and storage sectors, the RBF review said.

Additionally, new lending rose by 21% to $104 million. The increase was largely influenced by higher lending to the professional and business services, private individuals, and manufacturing sectors.

In line with buoyant consumer spending, commercial bank lending for consumption purposes rose by 17.7% to F$657 million.

Movements in commercial banks' interest rates were mixed with time deposit rates rising by 16 basis points to 2.03% and lending rate falling by 3 basis points to 6.63%. Low commercial banks' weight average lending rates continued to fuel credit expansion.

For more details, click on the links to the Reserve Bank of Fiji's website at the right hand side of this blog.

Carpenters unveils major expansion plans

The Carpenters Group will open its F$42 million MH City Centre at the end of this year. The centre will be located adjacent to the 15-storey MH Tower, currently under construction in central Suva. The City Centre will be a retail centre with a supermarket and a huge department store.

The Group also has plans underway for the construction of an industrial centre on a 33-acre lot at Tamavua-i-Wai, Suva.

In addition, the company plans to develop its 10-acre Suva foreshore property with the construction of hotels, condominiums and an entertainment centre.

Meanwhile, the Group has opened a retail computer outlet in Suva and plans more outlets in the next 12 months. Situated at the MH Station at Ellery Street, Suva, the Daltron IT Superstore sells computer accessories, computers and laptops.

Note from GV : Foreign investors wishing to set up business or to invest in Fiji can use our company's services, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited. Our contacts are e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427. You can call us on SKYPE for free using the links at the right hand side of this blog.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fiji actors to star in a $13.5 million series

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Two young Fijian actors have been cast in the upcoming $13.5 million children's television series, "The Lost Treasure of Fiji". The two are Sera Tikotikoivatu and Wame Valentine who will star along with an international cast of members. Filming will be done at Pacific Harbour and nearby locations from 18 April.

Sera is expected to play the role of Kirra - a modern Fijian girl who is thrown into a computer game where she must use her skills against pirates in the race for the lost treasure.

Wame will play Sol, a traditional guardian of the secret treasure.

There will be 13 half-hour episodes in the series which has been presold to Fiji One Television, Network Ten Australia, The Disney Channel Australia and New Zealand, and ZDF Germany.

Note from GV : Fiji has a number of incentives for the audio visual industry and to encourage the shooting of films in the country. For more details and assistance, contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bank Chief positive about Fiji's future

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

ANZ's newly appointed managing director Pacific business, Mike Guerin, is confident about Fiji's economy. Mr Guerin believed Fiji is benefiting from a stable economy with a healthy property and tourism sector.

Along with continued business confidence and private sector investment, that meant the future looked good for Fiji.

Mr Guerin was visiting Fiji last week as part of a program to meet with staff and customers to gain a greater understanding of the business.

In Fiji, ANZ's largest business in the Pacific, the bank continues to lead the way in the provision of financial services and community initiatives. It's rural banking model is the only one of its kind in the world and its success is evident in the 52,000 rural customers it has acquired in just over a year.

The bank said that it will continue to increase its investment in Fiji through the introduction of new products and services, developing its local staff and increasing its contribution to the community.

ANZ has operations in most Pacific island countries including Fiji, Papua New Guinea, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and East Timor.

Note from GV : Those needing banking or investment advice or intending to set up a business or invest in Fiji, can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427. Our principal has more than 16 years experience in the banking and financial sector in Fiji.

Fiji TV Dividend

Fiji Television Limited announced an interim dividend of nine cents per share for the company's financial year. The company said that the dividend payment was a result of another strong performance for the half year ended 31 December. The company hopes to pay another dividend at the end of the current financial year.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

8,000 new jobs expected in the tourism industry

8,000 new jobs are expected in the tourism industry by 2008. A large portion of these jobs was as result of international hotels being build. The comment was made by the Prime Minister while opening a new training centre at Denarau, Nadi. The centre, opened by the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji, will look at offering hotel industry courses for workers in the industry and for villagers in and around the area to help put them in better stead to work in the industry.

Kava farmers seek assistance

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

There is a need for Government assistance to kick-start the kava industry. The Fiji Kava Council said they needed $2 million to set up farmers and facilitate the necessary machinery and technology. It said there were so many farmers in Fiji who were capable of producing kava if given assistance.

The demand for kava was not only for drinking purposes but also for herbal medicines used in treating major diseases, including cancer and HIV/AIDS.

The Council said that once the ban on kava was lifted and some new markets opened overseas, there would be a huge quantity on demand. To meet this, the Council highlighted a need to move from subsistence farming to commercial farming of kava.

There are about 200,000 farmers around Fiji.

Pacific to fight illegal fishing

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Australia and France have signed a joint declaration to cooperate on combatting illegal fishing in the Pacific region. The initiative is part of a trilateral agreement which also includes New Zealand. It formalises the cooperative efforts already under way by Australia, France and New Zealand to help protect the sustainability of the Pacific's valuable fisheries resources.

Initiatives in this area include supporting and enhancing the capacities of Pacific island countries.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Resort backs out of offer after hurdles

The Hideaway Resort at the Coral Coast will not go on sale after talks between the owners and some interested foreign investors fell through. The resort said that it received a tempting offer from offshore investors but due to a number of hurdles and complications encountered during negotiations both parties decided to withdraw.

State awaits funding response for energy project

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

The Ministry of Works in awaiting response from international lending organisations on funding for developing its renewable power source project. The Ministry has been negotiating with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank on funding.

The Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) aims to become a 100% renewable energy power utility by 2011. Government has guaranteed FEA a loan of $350 million from ADB towards the project.

On projects, FEA commissioned two new hydroelectric systems since 2004, is embarking on a new wind farm at Sigatoka and discussing major investments in hydropower, wind energy and biofuel projects.

Increases in the price of crude oil in the past two years have made the drive towards renewable energy sources more pressing.

Note from GV : Government has provided some good incentives for businesses interested to set up in the renewable energy industry. Foreign investors needing assistance on investing or setting up a business in Fiji, can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited for assistance. Our contact details are by e-mail on gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fiji to cooperate with China on agriculture

Cabinet has approved a memorandum of understanding covering cooperation on agriculture with China. The MOU would strengthen exchanges and cooperation of the two countries in animal and plant health and food safety.

Europe may lift kava ban

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

The bank on kava exports by Europe's leading herbal medicine markets may be lifted by the end of the year according to the International Kava Executive Council. The Council is confident the ban would be lifted following recent scientific findings in favour of the popular Pacific herb.

The Council said, in the meantime, they were working on establishing uniform standards, procedures and operations for the kava trade to ensure quality control. Kava producing countries will start working on legislation, establishment of uniform standards, procedures and operation of services to provide quality control support so all countries comply with the market standards.

The Council is also studying the expansion of the kava trade to markets in India and China.

The Council said that two studies conducted in Germany and at the Ohio University, USA, on kava produced favourable results. The study in Germany included cultivating human liver cells and assessed if the cells died once dosage of kava was used but it proved that there was no toxicity in the liver cells.

The Council said that another experiment conducted on less damaged liver with a dosage of kava and it proved to have a liver protection action that also helps with cancer.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Tourist boom forces hotel construction

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

The Fiji Visitors Bureau says Fiji needs to open a 400-room hotel every year for the next 10 years at the rate tourism was growing. The Bureau said that the expected growth rate was 7% for the next five to ten years.

For 2007, the Bureau is expecting 576,000 visitors, which should go up to 750,000 by 2010. According to the Bureau, tourism has a bright future and proved to be resilient in spite of the natural disasters and political upheavals.

The past five years did not see many new hotels open.

The Bureau noted the opening of the Golf Terraces and Sofitel hotel at Denarau. Coming up is the Hilton at Denarau, the Marriott at Momi, and the Intercontinental Hotel at Natadola. It said that more big-name hotels were on the drawing board and they would become reality if visitor numbers kept increasing.

The Bureau said there were also changes in the brand name of some established hotels - the Dominion had become the Mercure, Pacific Harbour Resort is now the Pearl, Vomo Island Resort changed to Sofitel Vomo, Mocambo is now called the Novotel, and the Sheraton Royal will become the Westin.

Shangri-La's The Fijian Resort underwent a $30 million renovation which included a state-of-the-art convention centre. The Naviti opened 80 new rooms last week. The Outrigger will have a spa and the Warwick is being renovated.

Note from GV : The tourism industry holds a lot of potential for investment in Fiji. Foreign investors needing assistance to help them set up business or invest in Fiji can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, by e-mail on gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone +679 3396427.

F$6 billion bank for resource owners

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

An association of indigenous Fijian land and resource owners is working together with a foreign investor to set up bank in Fiji that will cater specifically for indigenous Fijians. The bank will help Fijians build for themselves, their family and their future. The foreign investor and indigenous land and resource owners met yesterday in Suva to continue their discussions.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji has confirmed that it has been approached by the organisers to enquire about the requirements and processes to establish a bank in Fiji.

50 year lease for wind-farm site

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

The Native Land Trust Board (NLTB) has given the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) a 50-year lease to develop a wind farm. NLTB said approval for the land at Butoni, in Sigatoka, came into effect last month.

The annual rent for use of the land was F$18,500 and a premium of F$150,000 was payable. The area leased is 51.3 hectares, subject to survey and dereservation.

In addition to the annual rent a payment of one per cent of the annual generation gross receipt will be paid by the company. The FEA has already paid out the amount to landowners in Sigatoka.

The FEA is embarking on becoming a 100% renewable energy power utility by 2011. This is part of Government's Strategic Development Plan.