27 Nov 2012

Tax free zone in Fiji could push creation of large commercial farms

2:30 pm on 27 November 2012

A local chamber of commerce in the new tax free area created by Fiji's Budget for 2013 believes the incentive could be a much needed push to help the area develop.

Under the financial plan, those investing a minimum of nearly 600 thousand US dollars in agriculture in the east of Viti Levu will qualify for a tax free holiday for 13 years.

If that investment is in the dairy industry the tax holiday will stretch to 20 years.

The head of the Naisinu Chamber of Commerce, Humphrey Chang, says the area to be declared tax free is hardly growing, but he believes it has vast potential.

"At the moment it's all subsistence farming. That's not what government wants to see people do. The government wants to see commercial farming and that's not happening so the introduction of this new concept of a tax free zone will do just that."

Mr Chang says potential investors may be able to find land through the administration's Land Bank.

But a national farming union believes all viable land in the area is already being used