Consider Fiji's tourism, hospitality industry, envoy urges investors
Published on: Friday, October 12, 2018

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian investors should leverage Fiji's tourism and hospitality industry by exploring the opportunities provided in the market, says Fiji High Commissioner to Malaysia, Kolinio Takali."I want to see more Malaysian investors in Fiji. While there is heavy Malaysian presence in Fiji in the retail, finance and construction industries, they should strongly consider our tourism and hospitality industry," he told Bernama in an exclusive interview at the high commission here, recently.

He was speaking in conjunction with Fiji's 48th Independence Day celebration held here on Wednesday night.

Takali said the existing warm bilateral relations between Suva and Kuala Lumpur would be the best platform for local investors to also penetrate into the number of business opportunities across different sectors linked to the industry, apart from just being a traditional holiday market.

"If current growth rates are maintained and using current hotel stock numbers, this would equate to an additional demand of approximately 4,000 rooms by 2025.

"Opportunities also exist within the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) facilities and special interest segments such as sports tourism and yachting," he said, noting that tourism sector was currently the largest foreign exchange earner of the island nation in the South Pacific.

For 2017, Fiji's earnings from tourism stood at US$1.8 billion, increasing by 12.3 per cent as compared to the 2016 figure of about US$1.6 billion.

To date, Takali noted a successful Malaysian company in Fiji in the tourism field, the Shangri-La hotel, operating as Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa.

The resort has been consistently voted by Australia's leading Holiday with Kids magazine as 'The Best Family Resort' in Fiji for the last seven years.

On the same note, the envoy pointed out Fiji's strategic location as market access in the Pacific islands that should be utilised for the purpose of supplying products and services to the rest of the Pacific.

"Being the 'hub of the Pacific', Fiji is a strategic shipment and re-export centre for cargo traded amongst the Pacific island states.

"We are also in the process of establishing a Special Economic Zone catered to light manufacturing and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) industry to enable investors to set up operations in a timely and cost-effective manner," he said.

Currently, there are 18 Malaysian companies that have established businesses in Fiji, with another 12 yet to begin operations.

The 18 established businesses have invested a total of US$58.5 million for the projects in Fiji covering various sectors which include construction, services and wholesale & retail and manufacturing.

Fiji's relations with Malaysia continues to flourish from the days of the Malayan Emergency to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1977.

Having gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1970, Fiji is a country made up of over 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. – Bernama


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