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Suva, Fiji Islands


September 21, 1999


Heads of investment promotion agencies in the region meet in Nadi, Fiji Wednesday, September 22 to discuss ways of further improving the promotion of trade and investment in Forum Island Countries.

The two day meeting, to be officially opened by the Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade for Fiji, Dr. Tupeni Baba, will highlight the need for effective investment legislation, how to enhance strategic investment promotion plans, and the ways in which the region is able to respond to the challenges of globalization.

The Forum Secretariat will brief the meeting on the proposed Forum Island Countries - Free Trade Area, endorsed by Forum Trade Ministers in June, and its implications on regional trade and investment flows.

The discussions will also cover major obstacles to investment as outlined in a 1998 study such as bureaucratic delays and inefficiencies, application of government policies, and land tenure policies.

The participants will share some of their experiences in trying to promote trade and investment in their respective countries and some of the difficulties they face in their planning exercises. These difficulties include a lack of awareness of administrative barriers such as the process for obtaining business licenses, building permits, exchange controls, customs and labor requirements and work permits in various countries.

Also participating will be the heads of the three trade offices run by the South Pacific Forum Secretariat in Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and Tokyo, Japan.

For additional information, contact: Ulafala Aiavao at

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