Fiji: The President, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, attended the opening of the TOPEX 2022 Conference at the Shangri-La Resort last night (24/11/22).
The Head of State, in his official address, reiterated the need for continued public-private partnerships. He encouraged the delegates who will be part of the two-day conference that there is a need to be mindful of how the private sector can continue to strengthen its partnerships with the Government to generate a sustainable recovery for Fiji as they discuss priorities and solutions.
“The geopolitical, economic, and social structures of the world are changing at almost break-neck speed, presenting the private sector with a series of complex challenges – not least of which is the ever-growing impacts of climate change. Of course, many businesses are still trying to recover from the toll of COVID-19.
Government alone lost over $3.2 billion in tax revenues due to the pandemic, and Fiji recorded its largest ever economic contraction of 17.2% in 2020, with a further 4% contraction in 2021 due to the second wave,” President Katonivere stated.
President Katonivere also shared that the Fijian Government has proven itself to be a genuine partner to the private sector amid the recent global economic challenges through its five-year and twenty-year National Development Plan.
“Both have worked hand-in-hand to develop and implement policy, respond to COVID-19, power recovery, open international borders, and galvanize trade negotiations to keep our businesses and the Fijian economy alive,” President Katonivere stated.
Mr Vinay Narsey, the President of the Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF), stated that although businesses are the engines of the economy, enterprises flourish through the environment and structure created by governments.
“Through FCEF, we are privileged to have direct access to Government ministries to raise critical issues which impact how our businesses function. A resilient recovery from the pandemic and restarting economic transformation will require policies that support a thriving private sector and further enable the 3Ts – trade, technology and training,” he said.
The theme for TOPEX 2022 is “Strategies, Synergies, Solutions for Sustainable Recovery: 2030”.