Fiji Business Briefs: Fuel prices up, Vanua Levu road project, Movers and Shakers

(Center) Fiji PM Sitiveni Rabuka (PHOTO: Fiji Government)

Revised fuel and LPG prices for April 2024

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has released new regulated prices for various fuel products effective from 1 April 2024. Unleaded fuel has gone up by nine cents and now costs $3/litre, while diesel costs 11 cents more at $2.69/l. This adjustment, influenced by international factors like the Means of Platts Singapore (MOPS) and foreign exchange rates, also sees increases in prices across Motor Spirit, Premix, Kerosene, and Diesel.

Chinese partnership boosts Vanua Levu roads

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has announced a landmark partnership with China’s Global Development Initiative (GDI), earmarking $300 million for road upgrades in Vanua Levu. The project plans for construction of 22 bridges benefiting 61 villages and 15 schools. 

ANZ warns of remote access scams

ANZ has urged its customers to remain vigilant against remote access scams. Criminals posing as legitimate entities like banks or software providers, attempt to gain unauthorised access to users’ devices. ANZ Regional Executive Pacific, Sarah Stubbings stressed the need for caution when customers face unsolicited requests for app downloads or banking details. 

Update on Fiji Airways and Fiji Link services

Fiji Airways says despite an incident involving an Airbus A350-900 in Los Angeles, the airline has maintained its scheduled services, although there have been some changes in aircraft types serving the route. Meanwhile, Fiji Link has revised its schedules due to operational reasons, affecting flights until 15 April 2024. The revisions include changes to flight times, cancellations and guests being re-accommodated on alternative flights.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad has unveiled Fiji Airways’ Special Edition Publication ‘Soar’ at the Fiji Airways Academy. The publication chronicles Fiji Airways’ journey, reflecting its strategic significance to Fiji’s economy and its recognition as a leading commercial carrier. 

FijiCare reports financial performance 

FijiCare Insurance Limited’s 2023 financial statements reveal a net profit drop to $1.35m from $5.93m in 2022. The decline is attributed to increased claims, notably in medical and motor vehicle categories due to post-Covid effects, and inflation. The company remains optimistic about future performance, citing a strong balance sheet and anticipates claim stabilisation.

Movers and Shakers

Westpac has celebrated the 50th work anniversary of Vina Chauhan. She has worked with the bank since 1974, when her late father encouraged her to fill out an application form to work at Westpac, then known as Bank of New South Wales. Westpac CEO Shane Smith said, “It’s truly an honour for us all to be here to celebrate this enormous milestone in Vina’s career. She joins a handful of employees who’ve also spent over 50 years with Westpac, and we acknowledge Vina’s hard work and dedication. We value and appreciate the wealth of knowledge she has cultivated over the years and her shared learnings with the wider workforce”.

Port Denarau Limited (PDML) has appointed Matelita Katamotu to its Board of Directors, effective 1 April. With a wealth of experience spanning various industries, including corporate, tourism, and NGOs, Katamotu’s has particular expertise in accounting and product development. 

The Pacific Green Industries (PGI) Board has announced the appointment of Josua Satavu as Fijian Holdings (FHL) nominee to the Board. As the Group Manager of Investments at FHL, his expertise promises to enhance PGI’s trajectory, contributing to its continued success in the Pacific region.

Permanent Secretary for Employment Maritino Nemani has been appointed as the interim Chairperson of the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji (ACCF). His role is to commission an independent review of the Commission, and help it assess current and pending compensation claims.

Ali highlights medicinal cannabis opportunities 

Permanent Secretary for Trade, Shaheen Ali  has delivered a keynote at a medical  cannabis training course this week,  highlighting the global shift towards recognising cannabis’s therapeutic potential. He noted the aims of the workshop were to take participants “through key facets of the production process, – from designing facilities to cultivation and harvesting..”

Ali continued: “COVID 19 has taught the world and us, we need to expand our horizons and work together in embarking on new avenues of economic activity.”

Inaugural tourism investment event set for July

Fiji is preparing to host its first Asia-Pacific Hotel Industry Conference & Exhibition (AHICE) Fiji Investment in Tourism Summit. Scheduled for 3-4 July at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on Denarau Island, the event aims to gather industry experts from the South Pacific and beyond.

Pacific businesses enhance social media strategies

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia has trained 150 businesses from across the region through social media masterclasses. Led by expert Heather Porter, the session delved into current trends and effective marketing strategies. Jeremy Grennell, PTI Australia’s General Manager of Export, applauds Pacific businesses’ commitment to mastering digital tools for growth, highlighting the evolving landscape of digital advertising. With social media fluency becoming indispensable, PTI’s initiative aims to equip businesses with up-to-date expertise, fostering digital success across the Pacific.