FIJI OFFERS TAX HOLIDAY TO BIO FUEL INVESTORS

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10-year-tax holiday is aims to encourage alternate energy

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 29, 2008) – The 10-year tax holiday for the bio-fuel industry is certain to lure investors, says Fiji Trade and Investment Board CEO Annie Rogers.

Rogers has recommended that other measures be adopted by Government to make Fiji competitive and attractive.

Tax holidays are one of the competitive advantages for countries that have excelled in the bio-fuel industry like Malaysia, Philippines and USA.

"These countries have already ventured towards the trend of adopting ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ practices in achieving their economic goals," said Rogers. "Fiji could consider also sound government bio-fuel related policies, coupled with adequate regulation and tailor-made incentives."

Rogers said the bio-fuel industry was being identified by Government as having the potential for exponential growth over the next few years in terms of employment creation, foreign exchange savings and preservation of the environment.

She said by encouraging investments in this industry, the government would not only be providing much needed respite for Fiji’s foreign exchange reserves and its economy "but will also be promoting the health and welfare of our people through the conservation of our environment".

The 10-year-tax holiday is for companies that are involved in processing agricultural commodities into bio-fuels.

To qualify for these tax exemptions, the company should invest a minimum of $1 million and employ at least 20 local employees and more for any six months within the income year.

According to the FTIB, three bio-fuel projects have been implemented with investment value of approximately $178,000 while three more, that are yet to be implemented, have a forecasted investment value of $182 million.

Tthe FTIB had also received several expressions of interest from local and foreign investors keen on starting up bio-fuel related projects.

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