Government looks to deepen business ties with Fiji

The Government is travelling to Fiji in an attempt to strengthen business and trade ties. 

Fiji flag (file picture). Source:

Trade Minister David Parker is visiting Fiji this week, saying his focus will be on business and trade and there was "scope to further deepen the economic ties between our two countries". 

In 2006, under former Prime Minister Helen Clark and then-Foreign Minister Winston Peters, New Zealand imposed a wide range of sanctions against Fiji in response to the military coup. 

"We are putting in place a wide range of measures which will affect high level contacts between the two countries: immigration; defence and sports links; and development assistance links of an inter-governmental character," Miss Clark said at the time. 

Sanctions were lifted incrementally, with the travel ban completely lifted in 2014. Then Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said lifting the sanctions would allow New Zealand "to throw our full weight behind supporting Fiji’s return to democracy and normalise our relationship with one of our closest neighbours". 

Mr Parker said today he also wanted to develop "deeper links" with the Fijian Government when he meets with Fiji's Trade Minister Premila Kumar and Agriculture and Environment Minister Mahendra Reddy in Suva and Nadi. 

"Fiji is New Zealand's 19th largest trading partner and there is scope to further deepen the economic ties between our two countries.

"The visit will be an opportunity to advance issues of economic importance and to support New Zealand businesses in the Fiji market."

He is also hosting networking events with New Zealand business people travelling with him.