KIWI ROAD CONTRACTOR INVESTS IN FIJI RESORT

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 10) – New Zealand-based road contractor Hiway Stabilizers is investing FJ$10 million (US$6 million) in a resort at Yasawa-i-Rara, in Fiji, with 10 percent shareholding reserved for landowners.

As shareholders members of the Mataqali Natalau [mataqali is the primary local division of Fijian society] will be given right of employment after the project is completed.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase applauded the company for its continued investment in the country. He said one of the challenges facing island dwellers was finding employment in the private sector and tourism was often the solution.

Qarase said he was encouraged to see that tourism was establishing a wider hold in the Yasawas and helping families improve their standard of living. He said the Yasawa group had a lot of backpacker resorts owned by indigenous Fijians generating good income.

Qarase commended the director of Hiway Stabilizers, Paul Boocock, for investing in the upmarket Paradise Point Resort project. He said the company [which has a regional office in Suva and has done roadwork in Fiji and Tuvalu] recently took 3,000 acres of land on a 50-year lease to support local dairy farmers.

"Now we see the same foresight and confidence demonstrated here, in a FJ$10 million tourism development. This is a good example of a successful foreign investor whose principals are comfortable with our investment climate, to the extent they are keen to expand their interests," Qarase said. "The main concern the Fiji tourism industry faces is where to accommodate the ever increasing number of visitors and the need is greatest at the luxury end of the spectrum.

The company says it also plans to is also expected to develop an airstrip.

May 11, 2005

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