March 30, 2013

Policies target growth

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, March 30, 2013

POLICIES and incentives that change from one budget to the next do not encourage growth or investment, says Ministry of Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali.

Speaking at the recent Fiji-New Zealand trade and investment mission seminar, Mr Ali said the changes only created instability and uncertainty.

He said the Bainimarama government had long-term policies in place to create stability and investor confidence.

"As part of our domestic look north policy, the government has introduced tax holidays of up to 13 years in the designated tax free regions, including the entire Northern Division, outer regions and recently, from Korovou to Tavua.

"If you are thinking of venturing into the dairy industry, the tax holiday extends up to 20 years.

"For those investors who wish to go into the manufacturing business, the government has put in place incentives such as zero-rated duty on the import of all plant machinery and equipment.

"For aspiring film-makers, Fiji offers the best tax incentives in the world and provides additional protection by licensing and controlling audio-visual agents."

He said government had established the lowest corporate tax rate in the region at 20 per cent.

There was further incentive, he said, for companies that set up their regional or global headquarters in Fiji where a reduced corporate tax rate of 17 per cent applied and 18.5 per cent if their firm was listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange.

"The ANZ Bank has already taken advantage of this incentive by shifting its regional headquarters from Melbourne, Australia to Fiji," he said.

Mr Ali said there were many opportunities in Fiji's growth sectors like agro-business, tourism, information and communication technology, audio-visual, manufacturing and mining.

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