Copy
Newsletter No.4 NOVEMBER 2014:  News on MDF's activities, achievements and events from around the world.
View this email in your browser

Australian Government impressed by MDF’s private sector development initiatives

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Julie Bishop recently paid a visit to Fiji to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to build a more dynamic and mutual beneficial relationship with Fiji. During her visit, Ms. Bishop attended the Market Development Facility’s (MDF) exhibition on November 1st 2014 held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva. She showed herself to be impressed by MDF’s portfolio of private sector partnerships stimulating business innovation in Fiji  and stated that this was “exactly the kind of initiative that Australian aid should be supporting”.

“I saw businesses to do with mud crab, tourism, Adi Chocolate I think they are going to be a huge hit in Australia particularly kava chocolates”. And then a business where the acidic soil in Fiji is now being improved by the addition of lime. So simple but a great opportunity to make the soils more productive here and improve crop yield. So all these great entrepreneurial businesses just receive capital and we can leverage this. Because the private sector is where jobs are created, it’s the private sector where the investment needs to made”, Ms. Bishop added.

Bishop further said that she was impressed by the business partnerships being supported by MDF and announced that the Australian Government will continue to provide support to MDF with funding of AUD 8.8 million (FJD 14.7 million) to invest into private sector development for the next four (4) years.

MDF is a multi-country initiative that started operations in Fiji in 2011, in Timor-Leste in 2012 and in Pakistan in 2013. It is the Australian Government’s flagship program engaging directly with the private sector to stimulate investment, business innovation and regulatory reform to create additional jobs and increase income for poor women and men in rural and urban areas in the Indo-Pacific region. MDF’s work involves analysing the economy, identifying growth opportunities, searching for business partners and working with them based on their needs to turn those opportunities into reality.

 
Ms. Bishop announces the Australian Government’s commitment towards Fiji             
Picture 1: Ms. Bishop announces the Australian Government’s commitment towards Fiji
Picture 2: Dr Harald Bekkers addresses the invited guests at MDF's exhibition


Dr. Harald Bekkers, MDF Team Leader in his remarks at the exhibition mentioned that MDF in Fiji to date has leveraged AUD 1.8 million in private sector investment with AUD 1 million investment from MDF, in 21 active business partnerships across Fiji’s tourism, horticulture and export processing sectors. He further added: “MDF is perhaps the only business development service in Fiji able to provide a tailor-made package of investment, technical assistance and business advice – to trigger business innovation and sustainable, pro-poor growth.
 
MDF’s exhibition showcased some of its initiatives with local partners including Standard Concrete Industries (Fiji’s first local agriculture lime producer for farmers), Fiji Exporters Council (Fiji apex private sector export association), Crab Company of Fiji (Fiji’s first commercial mud crab producer), Devesh and Bharos Farms (Fiji’s largest nursery commercial operator), Essence of Fiji (Fiji’s largest integrated skin care, spa, rejuvenating centre aimed at tourists), and Adi Chocolates (Fiji’s first chocolate maker). Other partners of MDF are: Farmboy, Tripeak Farms, Pacific Destinationz, Namana Arts Fiji, Coconut Kids, Walks & Trails, Wildfire Entertainment Group, Mai Life Travel, Southern Solutions, Fiji Hotel & Tourism Association, Ben’s Trading, South Pacific Elixirs, Maqere Exports, KK Hardware and Onyx Pacific.
 
Ms. Bishop reads through Standard Concrete Industries’ Aglime product benefits  Ms. Bishop discusses seedling nursery production with Mr. Devesh Nath (Director - Devesh and Bharos Farms)   Ms. Bishop is impressed with The Crab Company of Fiji’s mud crab cultivation

Ms. Debra Sadranu (Director – Essence of Fiji)) showcases her beauty and spa range of products to Ms. Bishop         Mr.  & Mrs. Tomohito Zokushi (Directors – Adi Chocolates Fiji) shows off their product varieties to Ms. Bishop
Picture 1: Ms. Bishop reads through Standard Concrete Industries’ Aglime product benefits
Picture 2: Ms. Bishop discusses seedling nursery production with Mr. Devesh Nath (Director - Devesh and Bharos Farms)
Picture 3: Ms. Bishop is impressed with The Crab Company of Fiji’s mud crab cultivation
Picture 4: Ms. Debra Sadranu (Director – Essence of Fiji)) showcases her beauty and spa range of products to Ms. Bishop
Picture 5: Mr.  & Mrs. Tomohito Zokushi (Directors – Adi Chocolates Fiji) shows off their product varieties to Ms. Bishop 


In his closing remarks, Dr. Harald Bekkers stated that over the next 4 years in Fiji, the program is expected to create 1,100 new jobs and increase incomes for 12,000 households in the country. “Also, after recent elections we have more scope to partner with the public sector in Fiji on work on improving the Business Enabling Environment. And with our knowhow of the economy we want do more for female entrepreneurs and workers”, added Dr. Harald Bekkers.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister together with officials from the Australian High Commission, MDF’s partners and MDF Staff           Mr. Shahroz Jalil, MDF Fiji Country Representative explains MDF’s portfolio of partnerships to Ms. Bishop through the photographs and partnership summaries
Picture 1: Australian Foreign Affairs Minister together with officials from the Australian High Commission, MDF’s partners and MDF Staff
Picture 2: Mr. Shahroz Jalil, MDF Fiji Country Representative explains MDF’s portfolio of partnerships to Ms. Bishop through the photographs and partnership summaries


The exhibition was well attended by important dignitaries including the Acting Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Glenn Miles, officials from the Australian High Commission, Minister for Industry, Trade & Tourism, Mr. Faiyaz Koya, the Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade, Public Enterprises and Tourism, Mr. Shaheen Ali, MDF Fiji’s Country Steering Committee members and MDF Staff.
Copyright © 2014 Market Development Facility All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Market Development Facility
P.O.Box 359
Suva
Fiji



unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences