Photo by FABC
AFBC NEWS : 16th Sep 2016

Joint Fiji Australia New Zealand Conference 2016

Report on the Joint Conference of the Fiji Australia, Fiji New Zealand Australia Fiji and New Zealand Fiji Business Councils took place last week at The Pearl Resort & Spa – Pacific Harbour


Last week on September 15th - 16th, this event took place in Fiji. The theme of the conference was ‘Harnessing our potential to meet demand’ with an excellent array of guest speakers on this theme covering various industries briefly summarised below along with links to most speakers presentations.

Day one opened with a welcome from President of the Fiji New Zealand Business Council, Mr Craig Strong and President of the Fiji Australia Business Council, Mr Vili Leqa.

This was followed by a keynote speech from Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, in which he praised the business community as the ‘glue that binds our economic relationship.’ Mr. Bainmarama commented that ‘Last year, the combined value of Fiji’s trade with Australia and New Zealand reached $1.668 billion dollars. This represents 27 per cent of our nation’s total trade with the world in 2015. And we place the highest importance on increasing this trade for our economy and the prosperity of every Fijian.’

Mr. Bainimarama was however, unhappy with New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key for hoping the Fiji Government wasn't "silly" about enforcing the provisions of the Public Order Act…"I don't think "silly" was the appropriate word to use in the circumstances. Just as it was appropriate for him to say last year that I was "mouthing off" about the Pacific Islands Forum," Mr Bainimarama said. "Being "silly" or mouthing" off is what a parent might say about a wayward child or a teacher might say about a problem student."

Mr Bainimarama also condemned the media in Australia and New Zealand for reporting that Fiji has ‘pulled out’ of PACER plus, clarifying that Fiji had not pulled out, but called for further flexibility and dialogue with Fiji’s best interests behind their move.

Read Mr. Bainimarama’s speech in full

View some pictures from day one of the conference



Session Two – Governments focus on Harnessing Potential

Session Three – Shipping – Harnessing Opportunities of Fiji as a Hub

  • Managing Director, Neptune Pacific Line/Pacific Forum Line: Rolf Rassmussen – view presentation
  • Managing Director, Pacific Direct line: Olivier Ravel - view presentation
  • Owners Representative Central Pacific, Swire Shipping: Chris De Villiers - view presentation
  • Chair, Fiji Ship Owners and Agents Association: Greg Von Litzheim

Session Four – Infrastructure – Increasing Productivity through Upgrade

Session Five – Aqua Culture – Critical New Developments



Session One – Tourism - Fiji’s Lifeline

  • Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia: Yogesh Punja – view presentation
  • CEO Fiji Tourism: Matthew Stoeckel
  • President, Fiji Hotel & Tourism Associations: Dixon Seeto – view presentation

Session Two – Business & Investment

Session Three – Agriculture & Services


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