News 25 May 2017
For New Zealand Fiji Business Council (NZFBC) member Aquaheat, the Council's recent five-day business mission to Suva has been a significant milestone for the company.
The NZ-owned and operated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)/mechanical contractor launched their Fiji branch during the business mission, which was a highlight for Council President Chandar Sen.
“This journey started about two years ago for Aquaheat, when the CEO of the parent company Horizon Energy Ajay Anand went to Fiji on one of our previous business missions,” Chandar explains.
It is positive to see these sorts of outcomes, and shows the impact hosting business missions has, he adds.
This is the third consecutive mission for the Council - the first one was jointly hosted by Pacific Trade and Invest, NZ Trade and Enterprise, Fiji High Commission and NZFBC.
The last two missions have been exclusively hosted by the NZFBC.
“As His Excellency, Mark Ramsden the New Zealand High Commissioner in Fiji said at a welcome for the mission, ‘we need to carry this momentum on with such missions up there every year’ – and the need is there,” Chandar says.
This “need” was clearly demonstrated with 15 people from 12 companies, covering multiple sectors, despite the mission being scheduled very closely to the NZFBC and Fiji NZ Business Council annual joint conference on June 15.
Representatives from engineering services providers, consulting engineers, training providers, construction and manufacturing materials suppliers, shipping agents, aluminium product suppliers, legal services providers, energy sector, construction companies attended the mission, which was formally opened by Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister Hon Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum at a networking cocktail, hosted by NZ High Commissioner.
It was Mark’s last hosting session at NZ House as his post in Fiji ends soon, Chandar says.
Member of NZFBC’s sister council Daniel Elisha was also inducted as a life member at this reception, while Super Rugby Chiefs’ player Aaron Cruden was on hand to meet with the delegation.
The mission coincided with Super Rugby’s heavyweight clash between the Chiefs and Crusaders (who won 31-24), and the delegation attended this match along with another networking reception, allowing for plenty of networking opportunities.
NZFBC’s Business Missions include both investors and businesses who want to deliver products and services in Fiji.
The businesses offer services that are not available in Fiji or due to the level of activity in Fiji, there is a shortage.
“Currently, investors are looking across numerous sectors, including the likes of Aquaheat acquiring the Fiji business of Airpro.
“Other sectors include tourism, dairy (with member company Fonterra now setting up shop in Fiji), architectural services and so on,” Chandar says.
Now the mission is over, NZFBC will focus on its upcoming June 15 joint conference in Auckland, which also marks NZFBC’s 30th anniversary.