Fiji and NZ's business relationship looks set to improve
Relations between Fiji and New Zealand businesses look to be on the mend after Fiji's election last month.
It's back to business for trade between New Zealand and Fiji after last month's polls in Fiji.
New Zealand businesses have always had a strong presence in Fiji - despite the impact of four coups but many projects were on the backburner during the eight years of military rule.
The chairman of the New Zealand Fiji Business Council, Chandar Sen, told Sophie Leggett that New Zealand businesses are now looking forward to more dialogue with Fiji.
CHANDAR SEN: New Zealand and Fiji have a very long history of business relationships, trade relationships, and for the people of the Pacific, generally, the wider Pacific, Fiji is so important. It's the hub of the Pacific, so, no country such as New Zealand wants the Pacific not to prosper, and for the Pacific to prosper, Fiji is a very important ingredient. It can't be ignored. And I really applaud the NZ government. Well, in fact, the NZ government has removed all sanctions leading up to the elections, didn't they? So, they had the foresight to do that. And now we've had the elections, it's going to be business as usual.
SOPHIE LEGGETT: So, how do you think New Zealanders will be able to participate with new developments in Fiji?
CS: There is a lot of new developments in Fiji. In fact, Fiji is at the cusp of a big boom in development infrastructure, hotel industry, tourism, and a lot of New Zealand companies are already partaking in these tasks. And we are hoping, as a business council, especially for our members, that the many projects that lay in front of us, we will be taking part in those. Any barriers that were there because of the lack of diplomatic connection is no longer there. And, you know, we are hoping that soon, the two diplomatic missions - Fiji's one here in Wellington and our one in Suva - will be restored to the full diplomatic matters that they used to enjoy, to High Commissioners - his or her High Excellency again. That's not the case right now, but I'm sure it's not far from happening now. The relations is very good now. There has been an absolute thawing of the relationship leading up to the elections, with the huge support from New Zealand towards the election process. I think the link between New Zealand and Fiji is extremely strong ,and that will take something a lot more mammoth than what has happened over the last decade to break that link, you know?
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