Fiji is advancing its trade and investment growth with the inaugural of Fiji-China Business Exchange Summit and Trade and Investment Seminar held in Suva today.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Hon. Faiyaz Koya said this will be an annual event to strengthen Fiji-China relations and enhance bilateral trade relations.

“There is a significant interest from the Chinese entrepreneurs in investing and doing business with Fiji. While the number of Chinese investment has been increasing in Fiji, it is important to note in 2015, the total value of Chinese implemented project represented only 18 percent of the total value of all the projects implemented in Fiji,” Minister Koya said.

He added that there is a need to focus on Fijian exports to China and ensure that trade flows both way from China to Fiji and vice versa.

“Fiji-China relations have strengthened especially through trade and investment. My recent visit to Guangdong and Fujian provinces earlier this year have demonstrated our commitment to enhance our bilateral trade relations,” Minister Koya said.

The Fiji-China Business Exchange Summit and Trade and Investment Seminar has gathered participants from China, Australia, USA, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.

Mr Koya said that in the past few years, China has been the biggest source of Foreign Direct investment.

“Imports from China has increased from $210 million in 2010 to $623 million in 2014. Fijian exports to China have increased from $5 million to $37 million in 2014.”

The Minister added that the seminar is a step in the right direction in advancing growth of trade and investment which will benefit both countries.

Head of the Chinese Delegation, Mr Chen Yushu said a total of 21 investors are in the country to meet with key investment and trade agencies and discuss investment opportunities in Fiji.

“We are interested in long-term investments in the area of tourism as it is a leading industry in Fiji and in handicraft, real estate, furniture-making and water resource businesses,” Mr Yushu said.