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Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

I’m delighted to be here this morning to celebrate this special day on the Chinese calendar, as you mark 68 years since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

Today kicks off the start of the Golden Week celebrations, in China and all around the world. And here in Fiji, I’m honoured, on behalf of the Fijian people, to take part in this special occasion surrounded by so many members of our Chinese Fijian community.

Every day, Chinese Fijians work alongside their fellow Fijians to drive development and progress across our country. Their contribution to Fijian society not only adds to the rich tapestry of culture and diversity we enjoy in Fiji, it supports the work of my Government as we seek to uplift every Fijian, level the playing field across our economy and expand access to opportunity to every corner of our nation.

Chinese Fijians are leaders in business, medicine, law and civil society. They are role models in our workforce and their drive, discipline and hard work – along with that of every Fijian – have helped us achieve eight straight years of economic growth for Fiji, and put us on a path of continued economic prosperity.

Over the past decade, my Government has sought to build a Fiji where no Fijian is favoured on the basis of religion, ethnic background, location, gender or of any of the differences that together make up our society. For those of you coming from a business background, you know that it is merit and merit alone that dictates who succeeds in the marketplace, and it is my belief that those rules should apply across our economy. Only then can we call our society fair and only then will be unleash our nation’s full potential.

That vision has driven my Government’s development agenda for the past ten years. Our commitment to merit-based achievement, along with our financial and commercial incentives for investment, have fostered an environment where every Fijian can thrive and find success. An environment where discipline, ambition and ability are the greatest determinants of success. And an environment where every Fijian business can expand, hire more of our people and invest more heavily in our economy.
Every business that flourishes on our soil brings me great pride – because as businesses grow and prosper, so grows all of Fiji. With every new storefront, restaurant and service that is opened by one of our entrepreneurs, every Fijian celebrates and every Fijian benefits. As my Government continue to guide Fiji down this path of unprecedented economic growth, I hope to see every Fijian – including our Chinese Fijian community – continue to be driven by their own initiative to succeed in whatever they choose to pursue.

Excellences, Ladies and gentlemen,
Of course, we are here to celebrate the upcoming Moon Festival, a proud Chinese tradition that gives us all the chance to reflect on the bonds of family, friendship, community and thanksgiving that unite us. These are values that every Fijian cherishes, so even those who are not here with us today can certainly appreciate the spirit of this celebration.

As I understand, during this festival and at our lunch today, the traditional moon cakes will be shared and eaten among friends and family as a symbol of reunion and to pass on well-wishes. So I’d like to share my own well-wishes with all of you during this time of celebration. Thank you for your contributions to our national life, and I hope that our future – as fellow Fijians – is filled with blessings and even greater prosperity.

With those few words, it is my great pleasure, on behalf of the Fijian Government and the Fijian people, to extend to our Chinese Fijian community our congratulations and my very best wishes on this special day.

Vinaka vakalevu. Xie xie ni. Thank you.

© 2018 Ministry of Communications