NZ Fiji Business Council growth reflects trade positives

The success of the New Zealand Fiji Business Council (NZFBC) and the continuing growth in its membership reflects the growing trade volumes between the two countries, said NZFBC President Chandar Sen, speaking at the council’s annual general meeting in Auckland last week.

“Our trade in goods and services continues to grow, so there are a lot of opportunities for our members. We have a dynamic economic relationship approaching NZ$1 billion. Both business councils’ [NZ and Fiji] membership has grown in response to this vibrant economic relationship,” Mr Sen said.

The council and its reciprocal Fiji based Fiji-New Zealand Business Council jointly celebrated their thirtieth anniversary in Auckland in 2016 with Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and several of his ministers and senior officials attending the event.

Last week’s thirty-first annual general meeting held at a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise conference room was attended by nearly forty members of the council including three of its honorary members for life – noted business figures Bruce Goldsworthy, Rick Reid and Michael Burgess. Fiji’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Filimone Waqabaca and Pacific Cooperation Foundation Chairman Peter Kiely were also present.

Incumbent President Chandar Sen was re-elected President for another year. “I am honoured to be re-elected as President and I look forward to working with the incoming committee,” he said.

“The Council is in good shape with membership numbers now steady at record levels. I am sure this can only increase further with the confidence of doing business in Fiji,” he added.

He urged all New Zealand companies that have a business relationship with Fiji and those seeking to tap the growing opportunities in its economy to take membership of the council.

Murray McCully at the NZ Fiji Business Council AGM

New Zealand’s former Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully addressed the meeting as guest speaker. Recounting some of his experiences in Fiji and the Pacific in his three-decade-long career as a Member of Parliament, Mr McCully said there was great potential to grow trade between the two countries and that Fiji offered many investment opportunities as well.

Mr McCully said his passion for the Pacific was undiminished after his long stint in politics and he has set up a consulting firm to work on economic development projects in the Pacific with a private sector focus.

The Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ team also attended the meeting. PTI Chief Investment Officer Manuel Valdez is on the council’s Executive Committee.

PTI works closely with several Fiji companies as part of its Path to Market programme that helps Pacific Island companies export to New Zealand and hosted ten Fiji exporters that have graduated from the Path to Market programme at trade shows in Auckland including Pasifika and The Auckland Food Show besides others.

For more information email Manuel Valdez, Chief Investment Officer PTI NZ at manuel.v@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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