FOX DENIES FIJI "STUDIO CITY" INVESTMENT PROPOSAL

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (January 7, 2000 – Fiji Times)---There will be no "studio city" investment by Fox Studios in Fiji.

(Background: Fiji Goes Hollywood)

Fox Studios Australia chief executive Kim Williams yesterday ruled out the proposal.

"And even if we were considering such an investment in Fiji, we would see the Government's treatment of our sister company, The Fiji Times, as a major barrier to progress,'' he said.

He said the Government's refusal to extend the work permit of the editor-in-chief was a particular worry.

The Fiji Times employs more than 220 people and has two expatriate work permits.

Mr. Williams said the figure quoted by Agriculture Minister Poseci Bune of 28,000 jobs was "derisory and indeed absolutely ridiculous in comparison with the 3,500 jobs generated here (Sydney) from an accumulative investment a little north of $A 500 million (F$ 650 million).''

The Leader of the Opposition, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, said he had the card of the agent they liaised with during the SVT government days.

Ratu Inoke said he would be able to release the name of the agent today, when he finds the business card.

A letter faxed to Minister for Agriculture Poseci Bune on the matter was unanswered when this story went to press.

Commerce Minister Anup Kumar told an international news agency last night that the project was still alive.

He told Agence France-Presse that Fox Studios was not the developer but that it was "an Australian consortium.'' He did not name the consortium.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

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