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COVID-19

Act to help economic recovery post-pandemic

June 16, 2021 12:40 pm
Ariel view of Suva City.

The approvals process for foreign and domestic investment proposals is set to become more business-friendly.

The following reforms spearheaded by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport to streamline Fiji’s investment regulatory framework.

Fiji’s Investment Act 2020 will increase the country’s ability to attract foreign and domestic investment across key sectors.

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The aim is to generate foreign exchange, knowledge and technology-intensive jobs and help with the long term recovery of the Fijian economy, in the wake of COVID-19 impacts.

Passed by the Fijian Parliament earlier this month, the new law, which replaces the Foreign Investment Act of 1999, also protects domestic interests with provisions on reserved and restricted activities where domestic businesses are considered vulnerable.

MCTTT Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali, says the law was drafted following extensive consultations.

Ali says the reform aligns with a priority of Fiji’s Five-Year and 20-Year National Development Plan to modernize the business regulatory environment for inclusive and sustainable private sector development.

With the support of the governments of Australia and New Zealand through the Fiji Partnership, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, provided technical expertise to the MCTTT in drafting the legislation.

The new law removes the previous process of applying for a Foreign Investor Registration Certificate.

Under the reform, investor permits are to be managed by the Department of Immigration.

Furthermore, investor rights will also be protected under the new law with provisions for legal recourse.

The law also has provisions on national security allowing the Fijian Government to restrict investment in critical infrastructures such as energy, transport, communications, data storage or financial infrastructure or access to sensitive information or the ability to control sensitive information.

Under the same conditions as domestic investors, foreign investments will report through the Registrar of Companies at the time of business registration and annually report to Investment Fiji.

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