3 Jan 2014

Ministry of Sugar confirms Chinese interest in buying Fiji sugar

3:08 pm on 3 January 2014

The Fiji ministry of sugar says Chinese investors have shown interest in buying at least 100,000 tonnes of sugar annually.

The ministry recently met a team from China's Reserve Bank in Lautoka to discuss a joint partnership with the Fiji Sugar Corporation.

The sugar ministry's permanent secretary, Lieutenant-Colonel Manasa Vaniqi, says Fiji's sugar will have to openly compete in the European, and world markets, once the sugar quota system expires in 2017.

He says plans for a sugar refinery to process the country's raw sugar means Fiji will be able to compete with other sugar-producing nations.

We have to do it because of the expiration of the quota system - we have been forced into this situation. We have no choice - we really have to look at this value-added product to be able to be competitive.

Lieutenant-Colonel Manasa Vaniqi says he feels very optimistic about the future of the industry and Fiji is now targeting new markets including the Middle East.