Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific , Ms Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana,
Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the UN, H.E Mr. Enkhbold Vorshilov,
Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, H.E. Yim Leat,
Senior Representatives from Asia and the Pacific,
Bula Vinaka and Greetings from Fiji.
It gives me great pleasure to stand before you today as the Deputy Prime Minister of Fiji, to speak on the future of Gender-Lens Financing for the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals in Fiji, and share insights on Fiji’s vision and commitment to empower gender equality.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I continue on with my Vision Statement, on behalf of the Fiji Government, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) for their invaluable support and partnership in facilitating innovative financial services and business expansion opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Fiji — in our true Fijian culture, Vinaka Vakalevu!
In pursuit of a more equitable and prosperous future for a “New Fiji”, we envision a bold transformation in our approach to financing – a financial ecosystem that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable where our women and girls take control of their resources, enhance their economic participation and make their dreams a reality.
Our vision is clear - economic empowerment of our women is part of our economic diversification plans.
By 2030 and 2040, Fiji embarks to be the regional leader in sustainable financing in addressing intersectional issues like poverty, inequality, and climate change - issues that are of concern to Small Island Nations.
When we empower women economically, we uplift entire families and communities out of poverty. By investing in sustainable and environmentally conscious businesses led by women, we contribute to economic development and climate resilience.

Through the support from UNESCAP, engagements with Fiji’s central bank – the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Investment Fiji have been ongoing. Most importantly, gender perspective was integrated into the Fiji National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2022-2030.
Through collaborative efforts, the Fiji Government and donor agencies have connected women entrepreneurs to an ecosystem of business development support – creating and empowering “blue innovators''. These blue innovators have gone onto catalysing opportunities for more sustainable, green jobs in the Pacific – complementing our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Fiji’s Investment Promotion Agency - Investment Fiji's successful partnership with UNESCAP ensures that investment contributes more to promoting gender equality in our country. It also provides opportunities to many of our women entrepreneurs to expand their businesses by actively taking part in trade and investment missions across the globe.
It is not an easy journey to implement Gender Lens Financing given there are many roadblocks faced by a Small Island Nation such as Fiji – the challenges include availability of credible data on women entrepreneurship in the country, lack of market access and opportunities for women based businesses. Further, there are also traditional social structures that stand in the way of women progressing in business and even pursue their entrepreneurial goals.
However, we are establishing practicable solutions through policies and tailor-made financial initiatives that will meet the required purpose in eradicating these challenges, and UNESCAP has been a key partner along with other public and private stakeholders.
In closing, Fiji looks forward to continuing to work with UNESCAP on these initiatives and others to drive innovation and entrepreneurship amongst women and other groups – the Fiji Government is happy to collaborate and partner with other agencies to achieve our shared aspirations to promote the empowerment of women.
Thank you and Vinaka vakalevu.