New Sites, New Op­por­tu­ni­ties New In­vestors

Fiji Sun - - Comment - RACHNA LAL Feed­back: rach­nal@fi­jisun.com.fj

Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced tax free re­gion in­cen­tives avail­able to a newly-in­cor­po­rated en­tity en­gaged in a new trade, busi­ness or man­u­fac­ture es­tab­lish­ment in cer­tain ar­eas. In­cluded in this from this year was the Eastern part of Viti Levu from Korovou to Tavua. This was ba­si­cally to at­tract new in­vest­ment in ar­eas which have high po­ten­tial but are not be­ing utilised be­cause of lo­ca­tion. In­vest­ments of such na­ture in these re­gions can also boost eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the ar­eas along with pro­vid­ing new em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to peo­ple in the ar­eas. How­ever, the takeup on this has been quite slow so far. But by the looks of it, there are some New Zealand-based busi­nesses look­ing at in­vest­ing in this area, one for pos­si­ble man­u­fac­tur­ing. Ku­dos in fact to the New Zealand Fiji Busi­ness Coun­cil which brought in a group of busi­ness­peo­ple from New Zealand on a busi­ness mis­sion to Fiji. Not only did they cater for sem­i­nars and one-on-one meet­ings, but also they took the del­e­gates through the Kings Road to show the po­ten­tial which ex­ists in the tax free re­gion.

As part of the tour, the del­e­ga­tion also vis­ited the world-renowned Nat­u­ral Wa­ters of Viti which sells the pop­u­lar FIJI Wa­ter which has a fac­tory in Yaqara. Coun­cil Pres­i­dent, Chan­dar Sen, said the visit gave the mem­bers the man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity/op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ists and what the mem­bers could cre­ate them­selves. “We wanted to show the avail­able land and in­fra­struc­ture es­pe­cially the roads in what is a sig­nif­i­cant part of the tax free re­gion,” he said. He con­firmed one of the mem­bers is now look­ing at set­ting up a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in the tax free re­gion as a re­sult.

This suc­cess ba­si­cally shows what po­ten­tial there is with care­ful plan­ning and think­ing. We have been re­ceiv­ing trade and busi­ness mis­sions in the coun­try from var­i­ous places, but or­gan­is­ers need to plan bet­ter and get in on the pro­gramme, the ma­jor at­trac­tions for in­vest­ment. The tax free re­gion can surely be con­sid­ered one of them. In fact, given now our road con­di­tions along the Kings Road is much bet­ter com­pared to only a few years ago, trans­porta­tion etc would not be a prob­lem ei­ther – it surely isn’t for FIJI Wa­ter. There can be dis­ad­van­tages of be­ing based away from the city, but with proper plan­ning, these tax free re­gions can be quite a boost for any busi­ness.

The only con­di­tion for grant­ing of li­cence to op­er­ate in these tax free re­gions are the com­pany must be newly in­cor­po­rated and the min­i­mum ini­tial in­vest­ment should be $250,000.

It’s a lit­tle bit of for­ward think­ing which can guar­an­tee the suc­cess of your busi­ness.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent, Chan­dar Sen, said the visit gave the mem­bers the man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity/ op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ists and what the mem­bers could cre­ate them­selves.

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