Your excellency, members of the diplomatic core, members of the Tappoo family, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Bula vinaka and a very good evening to you.
It gives me great pleasure to be with you here tonight to officially open a building that has already become an icon of the Suva city scape, the TappooCity. There will be many of you here tonight who will remember the Suva of yesterday, who like me, fondly remember the way in which people used to get dressed up to come to town. It was that kind of place.
The city and its surrounding areas are home to many Fijians, who still care very deeply about their city but we all know that Suva needs a face lift. A modern Fiji needs a modern capital and it is projects such as this, the one we all here to celebrate that lifts the tone of Suva. This building has raised the bar and has set a very high standard for everyone else.
Ladies and gentlemen, as you as you all be aware today I announced the 2013 national budget which laid out a bold program of investment in the future of Fiji. While we introduce many new incentives and initiatives, my government support for the private sector has been steadfast. We believe that consistent and attractive policies are the best way to attract investment. Investment that grows our economy creates job and provides new opportunities for local businesses. Often the talk is of foreign investment. Yes, attracting foreign capital to our shores and opening up new international markets is a corner stone of my government’s policy.
Equally but perhaps even more importantly, we seek to support and facilitate investment by Fijian companies. We want Fijians to invest in Fiji. And what better example of this here than the Tappoo Group, founded in 1941, it has had an unwavering presence in Fiji since then. It has made significant contributions to Fiji over the years and for that I extend my thanks. Indeed, only this past Tuesday, I presented the Tappoo family company with a gold card certificate that acknowledges that it is an excellent tax payer.
we seek to support and facilitate investment by Fijian companies.
We want Fijians to invest in Fiji.
And what better example of this here than the TappooGroup
There is also a very good example of all that can be achieved when entrepreneurs not only make money but are also good and law abiding businesses. I encourage other business houses to follow this lead. But we must not also forget the responsibilities we have to each other. It is the duty of government to make sure that its modern infrastructure and that the right policies are in place to encourage investments and grow the economy. And it’s the responsibility of the private sector to seize available opportunities, act decently and honestly, especially in relation to its workers and contribute toward the overall well-being of the nation.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, with an hour and half budget speech and further address to the nation, I think I have done enough talking for one day. So I thank you. Vinaka Vakalevu.