3 Jul 2006

Fiji government negotiating with Australia and New Zealand over work schemes

10:31 am on 3 July 2006

The Fiji government is negotiating with Australia and New Zealand to provide work opportunities for people in Fiji.

The Fiji Times reports that the Labour Minister, Krishna Datt, says access to temporary work abroad could help build the domestic economy.

Mr Datt says remittances already made a substantial contribution towards gross domestic product.

The comments came as the general secretary of the Fiji Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, said if Pacific Islanders took up 1 percent of unskilled jobs in Australia and New Zealand, remittances in the region would amount to 23.5 billion U.S. dollars anuually.

Mr Datt says Fiji is in the process of negotiating with the two countries on a work scheme arrangement.

He says this will help Fijians get a chance to work overseas.