Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation President, Sandeep Chauhan says the country should continue to focus on growing sectors like Agriculture even after tourism picks up and also focus on new sectors like call centres, Business Process Outsourcing, repacking of goods for exports and increasing food processing activities.
As we await the National Budget announcement tomorrow night, Chauhan says this is the time to look at incentives to grow other sectors as we cannot heavily rely on tourism.
Business Process Outsourcing refers to companies contracting its core business operations such as accounting, payment processing, IT services, human resources, regulatory compliance, and quality assurance to outside professionals who ensure the business runs smoothly.
Chauhan says he also agrees with the tourism and hotel sector that the Service Turnover Tax and Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy should be temporarily reduced to make our hotel packages more attractive.
He also says it is a good idea to reduce the import and customs duties on items as suggested by the hotel and tourism sector as this will reduce the overheads for the operators and also offer good prices to locals going to hotels.
Chauhan says we should also have more activities at the resorts for locals and hopefully some of the brighter minds in the tourism industry can work on that.
He says the focus needs to continue on Agriculture and we should not go back to our lazy days.
Chauhan says many years ago if you drove past the Navua area, you saw barren land but now you see Grace Road planting rice and other produce. He says it is also good to see the food processing companies like Fiji Coconut Millers or the Rice Company.
He says this is helping us to bring the import bill down, and we should encourage more people to buy local to help the local businesses because that is what will keep the economy going and that will ensure that people are employed.
Chauhan also calls on people to support local businesses as we all need each other to see these days out. He says we have come this far and we can’t be too far to see the end of the current situation.
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