Over 120 delegates from Fiji and Australia, converged at the Fiji Marriott Momi Bay Resort over a 3-day period this week for the highly anticipated major event, The 2018 FABC and AFBC Joint Business Forum.
Annually organised and co-hosted by sister councils, Fiji Australia Business Council (FABC) and Australia Fiji Business Council (AFBC), this year’s joint business forum is the 24th of its kind. The inaugural bilateral event was held 31 years ago in 1987 when government representatives and members of the private sector met for the first time in such a platform, to discuss how they can contribute jointly to Fiji’s economic growth.
True to the forum’s theme, Partners and Solutions for Business, a positive and collaborative atmosphere prevailed throughout the main forum held today. The excellent rapport displayed by Fiji’s Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, the
Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya; and Australia’s Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Mark Coulton; during the official opening set the tone for the whole event. “We are delighted to have the two Ministers as our chief guest speakers, and as this is the Hon. Mark Coulton’s first trip to Fiji, we are very pleased with his invigorating response about the numerous opportunities Fiji has to offer,” states FABC President, Mr Dave Aidney.
Significant sectors and issues were covered in the program, and presented by well-respected experts from various fields. From a Senior Economist’s report on the Fiji economy and business, to sessions looking at global trends that will disrupt boards in 2019, building resilient industries in a changing climate, tax matters, productivity, construction, waste, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism; the forum explored the challenges of doing business in Fiji, and innovative solutions that will strengthen Fiji’s position as the hub and the new powerhouse of the Pacific. Fiji is experiencing the longest period of sustained economic advancement in known history, and there is an expected growth in tourism to become an FJD 2.2 billion industry by 2021.
Australia is the largest source of foreign investment in Fiji to date and in 2007, it was valued at AUD 1.2 billion. Today, it is worth AUD 2.1 billion. AFBC President, Geoffrey Shaw says, “The possibility of stronger engagement between our two nations has grown over the last period of years, and today’s forum confirms that we are going to see a lot more integration from now onwards.”
FABC and AFBC thanks all the generous sponsors and partners who supported the joint business forum; Westpac, ANZ, BSP, Vaiwai, Fiji Gas, Textile Clothing and Footwear Council of Fiji, South Pacific Stock Exchange, Dulux, KPMG, Vodafone, The Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fiji Marriott Momi Bay Resort, Immago (Image Label Systems Fiji Ltd), and The Greenhouse Studio.
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View the official event page with useful downloadable resources