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SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 11, 1998 - Daily Post/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)--- The Fiji Government should relax immigration laws pertaining to Chinese tourists in order to attract them to Fiji, Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy suggests, the Daily Post reports.

Mr. Ah Koy said travelers from other countries were granted a visitor's permit on arrival while the people of mainland China had to get a visa before coming into Fiji.

He said he had informed the Minister for Home Affairs on the possibility of attracting more Chinese nationals into Fiji in groups by relaxing the visitor visa laws.

"If this is so, they are going to bring in a lot of money into the tourist industry," Mr. Ah Koy said, adding that the change should only apply to Chinese tourists who visited the country in groups.

Mr. Ah Koy said Fiji had yet to tap the Chinese tourist market and competition would be from Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand was already making China market inroads, he said.

In China, Mr. Ah Koy was advised that 50 million tourists visited various parts of the country each year and 400,000 Chinese tourists go to South East Asian countries annually.

Title -- 1709 TOURISM: Fiji targets China Date -- 11 September 1998 Byline -- None Origin -- Source -- Daily Post (Fiji), 11/9/98 Copyright -- Daily Post Status - Abridged

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (September 11, 1998 - PACNEWS/Amy)---China, after extensive discussions, has welcomed the Fiji government's plan to open an embassy in Beijing.

Fiji Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy also recently sealed an agreement with China for F$ 8 million ($US 5 million) in aid.

A statement from the Fiji Islands Foreign Affairs Office said the government is pleased with the goodwill on the part of China.

Chinese officials said they will provide the assistance necessary to establish the embassy.

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