Fijian Envoy Visits Victoria

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia, Luke Daunivalu, undertook his official visit to the Australian State of Victoria on Monday and Tuesday this week (8 and 9 July). The visit to Melbourne is part of High Commissioner Daunivalu’s engagement with the States and Territories of Australia to catalyze stronger bilateral cooperation between Fiji and Australia.

The visit focused on engagement with the Victorian State Government, the Fijian diaspora community and promotion of trade, investment and other opportunities in Fiji to Australian businesses.

During his visit, H.E. Daunivalu and the Fijian delegation held meetings with the Governor of Victoria, The Hon. Linda Dessau, Mayor of Melbourne Ms Sally Capp, Hon. Martin Pakula, the Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Mr Andrew Crisp who is Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner, Ms Anne Sargent, the Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Council, Mr Josh Bull MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, as well as representatives from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Marc Noyce, CEO for Biofilta Pty Ltd.

Some areas of collaboration identified between Fiji and Victoria include sharing of information and knowledge transfer in Smart Cities, Sports Technologies, Emergency Services, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation as well as Water Management. There exists established relationships between several Melbourne-based companies with Fiji and opportunities for growing those and other new business connections were also encouraged.

The Fiji High Commission and the Fiji Trade Commission jointly organised a business networking event at the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne on Monday night. Mr Daunivalu provided a political and economic update on Fiji and encouraged Australian businesses to seriously consider Fiji as their next investment destination. Mr Robert Cromb, Managing Director of Kookai, a global brand name in women’s fashion wear, shared a private sector perspective on investing in Fiji and provided an inspirational first-hand account of multilayered returns and the wider impact on Fiji’s economy of his investment over the years. Participants at the networking event included Senators, Federal and Victorian State Parliamentarians, Victoria Chamber of Commerce, government officials, business people, and members of the Fijian diaspora community.

With the support of Sydney-based staff from Fiji’s Consul-General and Trade Commission to Australia, consular services were provided to the diaspora community in Melbourne during the two-day program. The official visit to Melbourne by High Commissioner Daunivalu serves to reinforce the commitment to deepen and broaden Fiji’s relationship with Australia in various sectors. It is evident that many promising opportunities exist for strengthening cooperation between Fiji, the State of Victoria and Australia as a whole, which the Fiji High Commission and Fiji Trade Commission have the task of following up in the coming months.