By Vice Chairman Cho Kyung-hee, Reporter Paul Kim
“The purpose of this promotion event is to introduce Fiji to the Korean business community as well as the vast opportunities that Fiji can offer through trade, investment and tourism,” said Ambassador Peniana Lalabalavu of Republic of Fiji in her welcoming remarks at the “Trade, Investment and Tourism promotion event” held at the Koreana Hootel in Seoul on July 12, 2019.
Then she said: “Fiji’s close proximity to Australia and New Zealand and its strategic location to smaller Pacific Islands complemented by its modern economy, sound infrastructure, skilled, educated and English-speaking workforce, tax incentives and support for investors enable it as an ideal investment destination for foreign investors.”
The reception was attended by distinguished guests from various segments of Korean society as well as from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps and various international communities.
Among the guests in attendance were Ambassador Andrew Yamanea of Papua New Guinea, Maj. Gen. Myoung-Koo Lee of the Republic of Korea Army (ret.), who headed the Fiji-Korea Friendship Association, Rep. Joong-ro Kim, and Deputy-Director General Sang Ryol Lee of the Foreign Ministry for Asia and Pacific Affairs.
Renowned for its water, Fiji Water, the country is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to its abundant forest, mineral and fishery resources. Due to its beautiful islands, it attracts well over 800,000 visitors roughly the size of its own population each year, making tourism a major industry within the country.
As Ambassador Lalabalavu promoted active investment and tourism to be called “paradise,” concerns have also been stated from the participants during the event due to the recent announcement form Korean Air that it will stop its flights between Seoul and Nadi from October, 2019.
Without a direct flight from Korea, visitors from Europe and Asia is expected to decrease since Korean Air is the only airline from outside the South Pacific to service Fiji making it the most seamless transfer to Europe and Asia for Fijians and tourists, as travelling through Australia and New Zealand requires a visa.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador
Bula Vinaka! Anniyo Haseyo!
Welcome to the first Fiji Embassy Seoul “Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion Event.
It gives me great pleasure to deliver this welcome address at this year’s promotional event and in the same vein, extend my sincere and warm greetings to all of you present here today.
At the outset, I wish to acknowledge the tremendous support rendered to the Mission by General Myoung Koo Lee, President of the Fiji-Korea Friendship Association, and thank the members of the Association for all the fantastic coordination.
I would also like to acknowledge the presence of Honorable Joongro Kim, Congressman of the National Assembly and Mr. Lee Sang-Ryol, DDG of the Pacific Bureau who will both be delivering their congratulatory remarks shortly. I would also to thank Pastor Kim for starting off us off today with a word of prayer.
The purpose of this promotion event is to introduce Fiji to the Korean business community as well as the vast opportunities that Fiji can offer through trade, investment and tourism.
Fiji, as you are aware is an island country in the friendly South Pacific. Fiji is renowned for its beautiful beaches and pristine environment and attracts more than 800,000 tourists each year from various corners of the world. A modern Fiji, a hub of the Pacific, offers wide prospects for business in various sectors and a sound export base, which is widely supported by the Fijian Government through incentives and tax relief measures for investors.
Fiji’s close proximity to Australia and New Zealand and its strategic location to smaller Pacific Islands complemented by its modern economy, sound infrastructure, skilled, educated and English-speaking workforce, tax incentives and support for investors enable it as an ideal investment destination for foreign investors.
Today, we would like to share our Paradise – Fiji with you here in Korea, through presentations that will be made by our speakers to introduce to you how these business opportunities can be accessible to you. I sincerely hope you will enjoy our presentations and the Fijian dance presentation by the youths from the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) that will proceed today.
Last, I would like to encourage you all to visit my beautiful country – Fiji “Where happiness finds you” while you “trade and invest where Paradise is truly yours”.
I thank you for your presence and your interest in Fiji and I look forward to working closely with you all during my assignment in Korea. I look forward to networking with you all and how we can progress together on exciting projects in Fiji. Kamsa Hamnida and Vinaka Vakalevu.