Fiji business re-opening signals return to normalcy

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As businesses re-open from today, Fiji authorities have cautioned that breaches of COVID safe protocols will not be tolerated.

Minister for Commerce, Faiyaz Koya said this milestone in Fiji’s road to recovery cannot be compromised at any cost.

“Most if not all businesses are now opening and we hope to see more Fijians return to work. We’re hoping and wishing to see the business community’s compliance with all the COVID safe measures that have been put in place. The protocol provided for business is actually critically important and I must emphasise it’s something we will be monitoring very carefully.”

The private sector is also breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of expanded trading.

Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation Chief Executive, Kameli Batiweti said there is anticipation that the new beginning is a sign of better things to come.

“There is excitement in the air because we can now access other services that have been closed for the past couple of months.”

Fijian Competition and Consumer Competition Chief Executive, Joel Abraham said they hope for fierce competition in the market as businesses compete for every dollar the consumer has to spend.

Meanwhile, experts have backed recent commercial bank reports that Fiji’s economy will bounce back quicker than expected and begin to show positive growth.

Westpac and ANZ, two of the largest banks in Fiji have indicated that growth will be accelerated thanks to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and the reopening of international borders.

Economist, Dr Rohit Kishore said the local economy has shown more resilience than many would have anticipated.

“There is a pent up excitement there underneath and I think that will explode, my one take is that we will have 2022 getting into 2023, and 2024 we will have an economic boom in Fiji and around the world.”

Even the Opposition agrees that things are looking up.

SODELPA Leader, Viliame Gavoka said he expects 2022 to be a year of recovery and that Fijians are optimistic about the future.

“We are getting a little tired of COVID and we should gradually be going back to full normalcy and I would really like to see Christmas, to be a fully normal Christmas.”

Dr Kishore said Fiji is taking concrete steps to show the world that the country will be COVID contained and that travellers can come to Fiji.

From today all workplaces, tertiary institutions, houses of worship, hotels, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, gyms, pools, and tattoo parlours will open at 70 percent capacity but only for fully vaccinated people.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS