European Investment Bank Keen On Partnering With Fiji

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Energy, water sectors to be supported with financing, technical assistance

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 3, 2015) – The European Investment Bank has shown a keen interest in entering into partnerships with the Fijian Government and its private sector.

Vice president of the EIB, Mr Pim van Ballekom met with Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Suva yesterday where a major re-engagement between Fiji and the member nations of the European Union was canvassed.

"From what the Vice President told me, we are entering a very exciting era as Fiji and the EU member countries strengthen our existing ties, work together for our mutual economic and strategic benefit and also develop opportunities working with our private sectors," said Sayed-Khaiyum.

The European Investment Bank is owned by and represents the interests of the European Union member states.

[PIR editor’s note: Fijilive also reported that ‘The Fijian Government is looking to work closely with Singapore’s well-functioning and globally-renowned Economic Development Board, which plays the same role as Investment Fiji.’]

With its headquarters in Luxembourg, the bank not only provides financial lending support but also plays an advisory role in terms of financing and investment.

The talks centred around EIB’s financing options for Fiji, technical assistance for Fiji’s energy sector and a joint funding proposal with the Asian Development Bank for Fiji’s Urban Water Sanitation Project.

The meeting was also an opportunity for both the Minister and the Vice President to canvass future potential areas of cooperation in the financial sector and infrastructure development.

The EIB delegation led by Mr van Ballekom which is making a three day visit to Fiji has also signed a technical assistance agreement with the Fiji Electricity Authority.

"Our interest lies where our clients want to be but our strength is in infrastructure, water, water sanitation and energy," Mr van Ballekom said.

He also visited Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and held a meeting with the Minister for Infrastructure, Parveen Kumar.

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