Fiji has announced it has opened a new Trade and Investment office in Auckland.

Heading it is New Zealander Peter Rudd, who was appointed Trade & Investment Manager last month.

Mr Rudd comes with two decades of international marketing experience having worked both in New Zealand and overseas. He has a strong information technology background and has run his own company in the music publishing and licensing space in the United States and Europe. He has also had a stint with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE).

“The new office will focus on opening doors for Fijian products and services in New Zealand, basically promote trade and export to New Zealand as well as selling Fiji as an investment destination for Kiwi investors,” Mr Rudd said.

His early focus areas will be information and communication technologies (ICT) including call centres and offshore back office operations of large companies. “We already have a few successful models in this space like the ANZ call centre and Mindpearl in Fiji,” he said.

Mr Rudd said there was much scope to expand exports from Fiji’s agribusiness and manufacturing sectors into New Zealand. At the same time, there were investment opportunities in these sectors for New Zealand investors back in Fiji, he added. Greenfields projects were something the office would like to promote too. He said he was looking forward to working with Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand on these areas.

Mr Rudd said his office in Auckland office will work in concert with its counterpart in Sydney, headed by Trade Commissioner Mr Zarak Khan, who was previously employed at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Speaking to Pacific Periscope from Sydney Mr Khan said, “We are absolutely thrilled and excited to make this announcement because the last time Fiji had an office in Auckland was the consulate in the 1990s.” Fiji has a honorary consul general in Auckland, Mr Harish Lodhia, who also sits on the New Zealand-Fiji Business Council.

Mr Rudd said he would like to work closely with PTI NZ, NZTE  and the New Zealand Fiji Business Council as well as all business bodies interested in trading with and investing in Fiji.

New Zealand Fiji Business Council President Mr Chandar Sen said, “The council is delighted that this position has been established. We’ve already made a connection with Mr Rudd and have arranged a meeting to welcome him officially to the NZ Fiji Business Council.”

Michael Greenslade, Trade & Investment Commissioner for PTI NZ in Auckland welcomed the initiative of the Fiji Government in establishing a permanent office in New Zealand. He said PTI have a strong working relationship with existing Consul Generals Mr Harish Lodhia in Auckland and Mr Richard Hatherly in Dunedin. He said he looked forward to working with Mr Rudd and His Excellency Filimone Waqabaca, Fiji High Commissioner in Wellington.

The new Fiji Trade & Investment office is situated at level 26, PWC Towers, Quay Street, Auckland. Mr Rudd is soon to be joined by a marketing and communications officer for an initial team of two.

For more information email PTI NZ Marketing & Communications Manager Dev Nadkarni at dev.n@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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