Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism;
National Export Strategy (NES) Grant Recipients;
Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Bula Vinaka and Good Morning to you all.
The National Export Strategy (NES) was launched in 2006 by the Fijian Government to stimulate the country’s trade and export sector. This was done to improve the overall socio-economic development of the country.

The objective of this enhanced strategy (NES), was to tap markets beyond our borders by developing our export capacity.

Our aim was to generate exports in specific areas to supply regional and international markets and in doing so, improve our inflow of foreign revenue, create employment and boost productivity in our economy.  

The NES, over the past 12 years, has assisted 105 projects with support amounting to over $14 million. The sectors which were assisted under the NES are the Forestry, Fisheries, Agro-business and Manufacturing. This has led to a significant increase in export earnings, diversification of destination markets and employment creation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After a rigorous selection process, I am delighted to announce that the Ministry will be assisting further five companies. These are:
  1. Bula Batiki Association
  2. Civa (Fiji) Pearls Ltd
  3. Paper Source South Pacific (PTE) Ltd
  4. Tropical Aquarium Fish (Fiji);  Ltd and
  5. Zonah United.
Bula Batiki Association will be assisted to a tune of $96,923.47 for the purchase of building materials for the construction of processing facility, product research, training and development and provision for solar facilities. This is for the production and export of virgin coconut oil, honey and sea salt.
Civa (Fiji) Pearls Ltd is currently engaged in the production, harvest and export of Pearls.  The company will be assisted with a total funding of $88,513.63 to purchase a 23 feet boat with outboard engine, Spat Collector lines, Pocket Net for Reseed and for Nursery.
Paper Source South Pacific (PTE) Ltd will be assisted with a grant of $70,374.42 to purchase a 3 in 1 - Automatic High Speed Industrial Roll Slitting Rewinder machine, for the manufacturing of toilet paper and tissues paper towels.
Tropical Aquarium Fish (Fiji) Ltd will receive a grant of $266,667.00 for the construction of its Warehouse and Processing Facility. This is for exporting Aqua Cultured Rock, Coral and Ornamental Fish.
And Zonah United will be assisted with $85,879.74 for the purchase of a Grinding Machine, Packaging Machine and a Customized Collection and Delivery Vehicle for the collection of its raw materials from interior islands and around Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The company facilitates the growing demand of their Ginger, Turmeric and Cinnamon from countries such as USA and Nigeria.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
These grants will be used solely for the upgrading of infrastructure, procurement of value adding machines, equipment and addressing storage problems.

In addition, the grants will also enable the respective companies to reach out to grass root communities and villages who may have goods, but have no market access due to transportation problems.

Generally, the assistance given is to address the supply side constraints, faced by our exporters.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At this juncture, I would like to share with you the success and recognition of some companies who were assisted through the NES programme and are doing exceptionally well. Cacao Fiji would be a good example.
Cacao Fiji was funded in 2017-18 for the building of its processing warehouse. Since then, they were awarded the 2019 International Chocolate Awards, they won the Silver award for the 70% Dark Dreketi Matasawalevu chocolate with their partner at the Americas International Chocolate Award and won the Silver award for the 90% Dark Chocolate by Armstrong Chocolate at the prestigious London Academy of Chocolate Awards.

As an ongoing exercise, the Ministry conducted an impact assessment of 46 companies that were supported since 2015. The assessment revealed that majority of the grant given to these companies, were well utilized. This is an indication that firms have been implementing their projects in a timely manner, thus the positive outcome.
The export sales for the firms before being assisted was $42.4 million. The export sales after being assisted by the Ministry increased to $79.6 million.
To the recipients, I wish to reiterate that the Ministry will be closely monitoring the performance of your respective companies. This grant is an investment by the Fijian Government to grow our exports and the Government evidently expects positive returns from this initiative.
With those words, I once again congratulate all the five companies receiving their Certificates today and I wish you the very best in your business endeavors.
Thank You and Vinaka Vakalevu.