Fiji's prime minister has told a meeting of the country's diplomatic corps that the country is in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of its international links.
Commodore Frank Bainimarama says five years ago the country had 11 missions overseas and this has grown to 17 - a number that will continue to grow as Fiji develops new relationships with non-traditional partners.
Citing Fiji's leadership of the International Sugar Council, the G77 Plus China, its role with the ACP and the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Commodore Bainimarama says the country's influence is growing.
He says Fiji is becoming a cohesive, unified force that is truly independent.
"We are taking charge of our own destiny and carving out our own niche in the world. We don't see ourselves as beholden to anyone. We will act in our own interests, not in the interests of those who attempt to impose their will on us. The days of us being dictators (sic) to by outsiders is over."
Commodore Frank Bainimarama