July 26, 2012
Fiji and Zhejiang Province, China to Increase Cooperation
Fiji and Zhejiang Province in China have agreed to increase cooperation following successful talks in Suva this week between the Vice Governor of Zhejiang Province, China, Vice Governor Gong Zheng and the Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.
Vice Governor Gong Zheng is leading a twelve member delegation to Fiji from 23rd to 24th July 2012 during which he met with the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, and the Chief Executive Officer of Investment Fiji.
The purpose of the visit is to strengthen friendship between Zhejiang and Fiji. Accompanying the Vice Governor is a delegation from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Zhejiang Sub-council.
In welcoming the Delegation, Minister Kubuabola said that Fiji saw the visit as a reflection of our 'Look North Policy'. The Minister also expressed the hope that the visit will contribute to the deepening of the relations between the Fiji and China and Zhejiang Province.
During discussions yesterday Minister Kubuabola and Vice Governor Gong Zheng agreed to step up Sister-City/Province Relations so as to promote trade and investment.
They also agreed to expand exports such as in agriculture, fisheries, timber etc. Zhejiang has become one of the most richest provinces in China. Last year Zhejiang Province's export to Fiji totaled USD$26 million whereas Fiji's export to the province was only USD$220,000.00.The two sides agreed to cooperate to improve Fiji's balance of trade.
In this regard Vice Governor Gong Zheng also agreed to work with Fiji meet local quarantine laws.
To assist boost our exports to the province, Zhejiang Province is willing to offer Fiji its existing trade promotion platforms such as its annual trade and investment symposium which is held in June each year. Fiji could showcase its products through this annual event.
Vice Governor Gong Zheng undertook to promote more investment from his province in Fiji. Already the province has two major investment projects in Fiji one of which was the new cement factory.
Vice Governor Gong Zheng also explained that his province was looking for specialized projects in Fiji such as biogas, solar energy, mineral exploration etc.
The two sides also agreed to operationalize the memorandum of understanding recently signed between Investment Fiji and their counterpart in the province.
Vice Governor Gong Zheng agreed to assist the Ministry for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation with scholarships for its officers to study Chinese Mandarin in China for 1-2 years within its sister-city relationship.