Minister Koya projects up to 50,000 po­ten­tial jobs in ICT sec­tor

Visit to Mind­pearl Fiji op­er­a­tions in Valelevu helps il­lus­trate pos­si­bil­i­ties

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz - EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL FARZANA NISHA SUVA

Fiji has the po­ten­tial of cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment for 40,000 to 50,000 peo­ple in the ICT in­dus­try in fu­ture. This was high­lighted by the Minister of In­dus­try, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Sid­diq Koya, yes­ter­day dur­ing his visit to the Mind­pearl Fiji premises in Valelevu. He was ac­com­pa­nied by his Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, Sha­heen Ali.

Mr Koya said: “But it’s a process that has to be un­der­taken and we are cer­tainly gear­ing our­selves up to those kinds of num­bers if we can. Not only call cen­tres but ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions are also are a part of their thoughts.” He said peo­ple in ICT in­dus­try think about the qual­ity that has been of­fered.

“You go to have a qual­ity that’s been of­fered,” he said. “We will not be able to com­pete with price in terms of In­dia and the Philip­pines etc but it is the qual­ity that is of­fered in Fiji is un­sur­passed, prob­a­bly one of the best in the world.” Mr Koya stressed that qual­ity mat­ters a lot. “We are still at stages where we look­ing at and also the com­pa­nies that are here also are look­ing at ex­pan­sion,” he said. Mr Koya said the vis­it­ing com­pa­nies saw it’s a won­der­ful place to be.

“They are look­ing at ex­pan­sion but it’s a while be­fore you ac­tu­ally get to that,” he said.

Mr Koya re­it­er­ated the in­fra­struc­ture has to sup­port.

“Es­pe­cially in terms of the ed­u­ca­tion, peo­ple grad­u­at­ing out of school and uni­ver­si­ties etc to do these things so it’s all co­or­di­nated ef­fort on be­half of gov­ern­ment to see that it ac­tu­ally hap­pens,” he said. He said Fiji is open to busi­ness for any­body. “It’s about cre­at­ing the right nec­es­sary con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment,” he said. “The words have been said be­fore that we have a fan­tas­tic ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture when it comes to these things.” Ac­cord­ing to Mr Koya, it’s a very im­por­tant thing for them, as they are try­ing to ex­pand the eco­nomic base in Fiji.

“This is one of the ar­eas that are re­ally cru­cial to us es­pe­cially when we have got quite a young work­force that comes out ev­ery year,” he said. “We cer­tainly want them to stay here and there are cer­tainly great places to work. Mr Koya went fur­ther to high­light Fiji has a great name over­seas.

Op­er­a­tions

Mind­pearl (Fiji) gen­eral man­ager, Ingo Schulz, said the Minister came around to look at their com­pa­nies op­er­a­tion. “We re­cently had a BPO mis­sion to Fiji which is de­signed to at­tract large com­pa­nies who want to out­source or ac­tu­ally were in­ter­ested in cre­at­ing their own course and Fiji was part of this mis­sion,” he said. “We had some del­e­gates pass­ing through and it’s just a fol­low up from that BPO mis­sion.”

Key Gov­ern­ment pro­ject

Mr Koya stated how one of the key gov­ern­ment projects that had been pri­ori­tised in the 2016- 2017 Bud­get an­nounced by the Minister for Econ­omy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum would be the es­tab­lish­ment of a man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vices zone in the Western Divi­sion. He said this would be pri­mar­ily done to ex­tend the eco­nomic base in Fiji but also to create new pil­lars of growth in the western econ­omy.

Mr Koya said ICT is one sec­tor they had pri­ori­tised.

Photo: PAULINI RAT­U­LAILAI

Minister for In­dus­try, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Sid­diq Koya with Mind­pearl (Fiji) gen­eral man­ager, Ingo Schulz, dur­ing a tour of Mind­pearl premises in Valelevu yes­ter­day.

Photo: PAULINI RAT­U­LAILAI

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for In­dus­try, Trade and Tourism, Sha­heen Ali.

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