Fiji’s trade relations with India has grown over the years where, imports totaled $208 million last year and exports totaled a modest $300,000 and there is still room to improve.
This has been highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism Viliame Gavoka while celebrating 75 years of India’s diplomatic presence in Fiji.
He is requesting the High Commission in Fiji and in India to explore trade and investment opportunities.
The Deputy Prime Minister says they have also seen considerable interest from Indian investors in agriculture, forestry, construction, wholesale and retail.
He says they are seeing interest in other areas and he would like to see a Taj or Oberoi Hotel built in Fiji and hopes that before the end of their administration, they will see something significant in terms of hotel presence from India in Fiji.
Gavoka says multilateral relations must continue to evolve and adapt and they must seize opportunities and deepen collaboration in areas such as trade, investment, education, science and technology.
The Deputy Prime Minister has also reaffirmed their commitment to principles and values in their relations.
Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Palaniswamy Karthigeyan says as they take genuine satisfaction of the progress the two countries have made, there is still a lot that they can do together.
He says it depends on the commitment, support, assistance, cooperation that they get from both the countries.
Karthigeyan says in the last eight to nine months they have got a wonderful upswing in their relationship and this augurs very well.
He says it gives him a lot of confidence that now they will be able to not just make up for the time and momentum they lost from late 80s to the mid 2000s but thanks to the renewed focus and the support, the bipartisan support from both sides, at all levels, they have been able to bridge the gap considerably between the potential and actualisation.
He has also reaffirmed their strong commitment to the partnership of progress and prosperity.
Meanwhile, students from Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre performed many dance items such as bhagra, dandiya and Bollywood dance while the Vou dance group also performed iTaukei meke and Bollywood and meke fusion performances.
Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Biman Prasad, Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo, Minister for Sugar, Charan Jeath Singh, Members of Opposition, members of the diplomatic corp and the business community were also part of the celebration.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations