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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Fiji Aims To Be Regional Financial Hub: Sayed-Khaiyum
Acting PM says efforts modeled after Singapore

By Indrani Krishna

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 1, 2012) – Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister, Attorney General and Minister for Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the government’s initiative is to turn Fiji into financial hub for the region.

He made these comments at the Lautoka Chamber of Commerce’s Business Forum this morning.

"Apart from being a regional hub we also need to create ourselves as a financial hub," Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said this could only happen by having transparent rules and attractive tariff and tax regimes.

Meanwhile, the other significant announcement made was the reduction of corporate tax rate of 17-percent for any company that sets up a regional or global head office in Fiji.

Sayed-Khaiyum said that the concept is similar to what Singapore had done.

He said already, without disclosing names, a major financial institution which is looking at moving its regional head office from a developed country to Fiji.

Further details on the move would be announced by the chief executive of Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, Jitoko Tikolevu before the beginning of January 2013 as finer details are still being finalised.

"But fundamentally if you see the philosophy behind this, it just encourages private sectors growth and development by withdrawing government from areas where private sector can do a lot better," Sayed-Khaiyum said.

As a result, he said governments efforts will be focused on areas in need of government assistance whether it is welfare, infrastructure development or whether it is providing a facilitative environment.

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