27 May 2008

USP academic queries timing of investment certificate hikes

3:22 pm on 27 May 2008

An academic at the University of South Pacific in Fiji says it's not the right time to increase the cost of a foreign investment certificate.

Last week, Fiji's interim Industry, Tourism, Trade and Communications Minister informed Cabinet of eight changes to investment regulations.

Among the changes, a new Foreign Investment Registration Certificate has jumped from 10 US dollars to 1,700 US dollars.

Dr Mahendra Reddy says it's likely that many new business investors to Fiji will be put off.

"The last estimate of the cost of doing business in the Pacific found that Fiji is one of the most cost investment business destination in Pacific island countries. Given that investor climate is quite subdued, growth is marginal, and Fiji is struggling now in terms of promoting itself, this is certainly not the right time to make such huge hikes in both fees and charges."

Dr Mahendra Reddy.