A special session promoting India -Fiji Partnership was organised by Calcutta Chamber of Commerce which is in its 188th year and is the oldest chamber not only in India but in entire Asia .The Special session held in Kolkata on 1st July 2019 to boost multi-dimensional strategic business & trade relationship as well as partnership between members of the civil societies of the both nations for all round development including tackling new challenges developing due to ” climate change” issues .
Addressing the august gathering of Indian Industrialists , Investors, Business persons, Exporters , Importers High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji to India Yogesh Punja said “…..Fiji can act as hub for re-export of Indian products to Australia , New Zealand and other island nations in South Pacific region in Southern Hemisphere . Fiji offers business friendly ecosystem .Fiji has high quality well trained but low cost manpower . Fiji wants to export high quality agricultural products including organic products . Fiji is exporting high quality bottled mineral water globally for quality conscious consumers. Approximately 37 percent of population comprised of Indo-Fijians. Fiji has more than 900 Ramayan Mandalis . Fiji wants to re-export culture & religion promoting cooperation , peace , tolerance , understanding ….”
Yogesh Punja mentioned Fiji is welcoming investment in agriculture , pharma , healthcare ,entertainment including cinema production industry, high technology, tourism , solar energy infrastructure related products amongst others . In his introductory address , noted industrialist and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Fiji in Kolkata Harsh Vardan Patodia said ” , Efforts are on to strengthen multi-sectoral relationship between Kolkata and Fiji including two way tourism . Ancestors of majority members of Indian Diaspora in Fiji sailed out from Kolkata Port ”
In his Welcome address, President of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Om Prakash Aggarwal said “, ..Fiji is the most developed and connected economy amongst south Pacific Islands. In 2014, India launched the Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) in Suva, Fiji , initiating a region wide dialogue mechanism with governments of 14 island nations of the South Pacific. One of the major milestones achieved in recent times was Fiji becoming the Founding Member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) . Fiji has signed and ratified the Framework Agreement of the ISA which came into force in December 2017 . India provides hundreds of scholarships for short term & long term training courses in India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and various schemes of Indian Council For Cultural relations (ICCR) every year for strengthening HRD cooperation in Fiji.Often referred as the ” Gateway To The Pacific ” , Fiji proves to be a “pivot” in the South Pacific . Because of its size, location and transportation links , Fiji acts as a platform to make way into the 14 Pacific Island Countries (PIC). The scope of Indian businesses in domestic and industrial markets in PICs is significant. ”
(In picture above O.P. Aggarwal President of CCC, welcoming Yogesh Punja High Commissioner of Fiji while H.V. Patodia, Rajeev Maheshwari on the left and M Sureka on the right)