SUVA – The United States Chargé d’Affaires to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu Tony Greubel convened a virtual conference of more than fifty U.S.-based consulting companies to introduce them to Fiji’s burgeoning export sector. The conference, “Growing the Fiji Brand: U.S. Services Needed,” attracted U.S. companies that can assist Fijian companies with business to business matchmaking, distribution, marketing, and biosecurity compliance.
“The U.S. has been Fiji’s No. 1 export market for the past six years. There are now hundreds of firms – big and small – exporting to the United States,” CDA Greubel said. “Many of these firms are looking to collaborate with U.S. companies.”
The program was a follow-on from the Fiji Forward series of economic roundtables and workshops the Embassy held in 2020. At previous Fiji Forward events, Fijian companies made specific requests for assistance in achieving their goals for the U.S. market. Today’s program showed U.S. companies, with the technical expertise to achieve these goals, that there are potential partners with Fijian businesses.
Greubel was joined by Shaneel Nair, the senior trade adviser with Investment Fiji and Arif Khan, founder of Cacao Fiji and the Acting President of the Fiji-USA Business Council. Arif Khan, acting president of the Fiji-USA Business Council and founder of Cacao Fiji said, “Fijian and U.S. companies can find many synergies together as both economies recover from the COVID-19 impacts.”
Investment Fiji’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Craig Strong commended the U.S. Embassy for collaborating with Investment Fiji on advancing the Fiji brand. “Our capacity-building programs, online resources, virtual trade expos and an extensive international network have provided Fijian exporters with the right platform to get their business and products export-ready for the global market,” he said.
In 2019, the Fiji exported $246 million worth of goods to the United States. In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic slowdown, exports to the United States only dipped to $224 million. The conference was done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.