FIJI-KIWI RELATIONS BODE WELL FOR PACIFIC

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BUSINESS
Business Council applauds softening of diplomatic stance

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Feb. 22, 2010) - The Fiji/New Zealand Business Council (FNZBC) says improved ties between the two countries will benefit the entire Pacific.

The chair of the FNZBC’s media relations committee, Carl Ngamoki-Cameron, says aside from the immediate positive spin-offs for Fiji, the development has implications for the region.

"New Zealand has failed to maintain a Trade Commissioner in Fiji for Fiji and the Pacific and such an appointment would mean financial support for the development of investment, jobs and Fiji’s economy," Ngamoki-Cameron told FijiLive.

He applauded the move by the governments of Fiji and New Zealand to have their respective high commissioners reinstated in Wellington and Suva.

Ngamoki-Cameron believes the move promotes the council’s primary objective to promote and facilitate effective trade between the two countries.

"I expect some confidence to be restored in ties between the two countries both trade-wise and politically," he said.

Ngamoki-Cameron emphasized the development would also aid in Fiji’s economic status.

"New Zealand traditionally enjoys a trade surplus and financial gain from Fiji while Fiji benefits from the regular supply of goods from New Zealand as opposed to countries like China."

The development came at the weekend following a second round of talks in three weeks between Foreign Ministers Ratu Inoke Kubuabola of Fiji and New Zealand’s Murray McCully.

Both countries, along with Australia, expelled each others’ top envoys last year following claims by Fiji that the two neighbours had interfered in the local judiciary.

Although Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith was part of the first round of conciliatory talks in Canberra between Kubuabola and McCully, there have been no recent signals on the future of diplomatic relations between Australia and Fiji.

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