This was highlighted by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya at the opening of the Stakeholder Workshop on Investment Policy and Act Consultations in Suva today.
Koya said the aim of the review is to develop a new and modern investment law and regulation, which is able to adapt to the changing investment environment and provide a reform action plan – that includes an investment policy.
He said with unprecedented levels of growth in the Fijian economy, an average growth of 4.5 per cent was achieved over the past five years with 5.6 per cent in 2014 being the highest recorded for decades.
“The investment figures have also been very positive, with over 25 percent contribution to the GDP, and most importantly the private sector investments have contributed approximately 15 per cent,” Koya said.
“The RBF economic review has stated that investment has remained upbeat in 2017. On average, new lending by commercial banks for investments increased by an average of 23 per cent in 2017. The strong growth of investments has been made possible by the long term, forward-thinking and pro-growth policies of the Fijian Government.”
The review process has commenced with an Investment Reform Map (IRM), which highlights the areas of strength, gaps and weakness in the existing legal and policy framework for foreign investment, and identifies reform action plan.
“The IRM identifies that Fiji’s development vision entails the diversification towards knowledge-intensive sectors and activities. Hence, we need to ensure that resources are channelled towards attracting the right kind of investment and investors.
“Therefore, one key outcome of the reform map is having a comprehensive Investment Act that provides rights, protection and obligations to both domestic and foreign investors. The IRM also identifies the need to clearly define roles of the investment promotion agency and the regulatory agencies,” Koya added.
Close to 20 government officials and private sector representatives at the workshop were also presented with the draft Investment Reform Map, Investment Policy Statement and the key features of the proposed Investment Law.