The Ministry for Industry, Trade and Tourism organised a private sector consultation, which was attended by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Hon. Premila Kumar, to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 on the Fijian businesses and the economy.
The meeting discussed the strategies businesses are adopting to prepare for the adverse impact of the global pandemic. Industries provided current status of supply chain, logistics, production and sales, and the medium to long-term implications of the COVID-19 on their business.
There was general consensus that there is currently no shortage of raw materials, as the industries usually stockpile materials. However, it is expected that in the coming months some adverse effects on value chains may be realised. In this regard, the Ministry will work with the stakeholders to address and remedy any gaps.
The Fijian Government and the industries also discussed the low-hanging fruits that could continue to fuel economic activity. In addition, the industry associations made recommendation where interventions are required that could be considered by the Government. The Fijian Government assured that key projects, which are held up with relevant approval agencies will be prioritised and fast-tracked.
The Government will work closely with all the Industry Associations, in particular with Fiji Airways, Tourism Fiji and Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association to undertake targeted marketing to drive up visitor numbers, especially for domestic, regional and traditional markets.
The Ministers emphasised the importance of collaboration not just between the private sector and Government, but also amongst the different private sector bodies to enable greater economic benefits to be realised.
The industry associations will be making detailed submissions to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, to ensure that a practical measure both short and long-term are offered by the Fijian Government.
It is important to note that Fiji has not reported any COVID-19 cases however, the Fijian Government is taking relevant proactive steps to protect all Fijians.
At this point in time, the Fijian Government encourages everyone to take necessary precautions and implement necessary hygiene practices, while at the same time continue with daily operation without panic or fear.