“The political relationship between Fiji and New Zealand has been challenged, but trade has always underpinned this relationship. As we head toward an election later this year, New Zealand is keen to see this relationship, and its products and services expand.”
These are the words of Mr. Peter Lund, New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner to Fiji and the Deputy Head of Mission for the New Zealand High Commission. Originally from Christchurch, Peter first took up this role in 2010 and will be based in Fiji until the end of 2014.
Also a Rotarian in the Club of Suva, Peter presented at RCSE’s weekly meeting on Monday and shared some fascinating trade statistics with all of us.
A few stand out facts:
- Fiji is one of New Zealand’s largest trading partners, representing 16% of NZ’s total trade (more than twice PNG).
- New Zealand’s major exports to Fiji are 1. Yachts 2. Dairy 3. Sheep products 4. Potatoes 5. Steel
- Fiji’s current exports to New Zealand are worth 60 million NZD annually, though they have declined in recent years.
- Fiji’s top 3 exports to NZ are 1. Produce (dalo and pawpaw) 2. FMF Biscuits 3. Apparel
As Peter pointed out, however, trade isn’t just about goods, but also services. More than 100,000 Kiwis visit Fiji annually and contribute more than FJD 200 million to Fiji’s economy.
In addition, as we are all aware, NZ is currently providing services to Fiji, having won the contracts to renovate Fiji’s roads.
Many thanks to Peter for his engaging presentation and for his ongoing support of Fiji’s economy via this important trade relationship.