FIJI ATTRACTS ISRAELI TELEPHONE COMPANY TO COMPETE WITH TELECOM FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 24, 1999 - PACNEWS/Fiji Times)---The Israeli telecommunications giant, Telrad, plans to set up a telephone company in Fiji by early next year.

The Fiji Times newspaper reports outgoing Israeli Ambassador Shmuel Moyal confirmed the move following a three-day visit to Fiji last week.

Moyal met with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Finance Minister Jim Ah Koy to discuss the proposal.

Moyal was accompanied by a senior Telrad representative Israel Nov.

The Fiji Times quotes the outgoing Ambassador as saying Telrad has eyed Fiji as a potential business site for the past five years.

Fiji's location as the hub of the region and its experience in the telecommunications industry, Moyal said, gives it a distinct advantage over other Pacific countries.

He said Telrad is ready, but the Fiji government has to make the decision.

Although details of the Israeli telephone company's proposal are unknown, the setting up of another phone company in Fiji would break the long-running monopoly of Telecom Fiji, often criticized as being too comfortable because of the lack of competition.

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