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Ten-member delegation tours country

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, August 27, 2009) - A 10-member Japanese delegation is in Fiji to scout for investment opportunities.

It comes as the Government pursues its "Look North" policy of strengthening trade, investment and tourism links with Asia.

Fiji Honorary Consul in Osaka, Japan, Hirokazu Ishibashi, speaking through an interpreter, said in Suva yesterday: "Most members of the delegation are interested in investing in restaurant businesses. They are here for the first time to do a case study that will determine whether it is best to invest in that business or not."

Mr. Ishibashi said there are more Japanese investors interested in setting up businesses in the country.

These include real estate, technical and construction companies.

"There has been a lot of interest shown towards Fiji in various fields and we are working closely with them in bringing them over," he said.

"Fiji seems to be a best place to invest with all the attractive packages offered and there are many investors who will be coming over to look at opportunities."

He said another purpose of the current visit was to look at Japanese expertise helping communities that face water problems.

"As part of our effort in contributing to society, we are here to look at areas that have difficulties in obtaining water," Ishibashi said.

"We will identify the area and ways to help them with the help of the Water Authority of Fiji."

The delegation joins the list of Asian investors who have visited the country looking at opportunities.

Yesterday, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, the group toured the Tosa Bussan Factory at Walu Bay, Suva.

Ratu Inoke was Ambassador to Japan before being named Foreign Affairs Minister last month.

Tosa Bussan (Fiji) was established in 2000 by Japanese investor Hiroshi Tokuhisa.

It processes frozen tuna fish in various grades, which are then shipped to markets in Japan. It has invested close to FJ$10 million [US$5 million] in its factory specifically for the Japanese market.

Ishibashi also confirmed that the visiting group met with the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau (FTIB) on Tuesday.

"We met the FTIB and we told them of our interest as well as future investors," he added.

The group is expected to be in the country for a few more days before returning to Japan.

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