SUVA –Today, the United States Embassy in Suva, hosted around 50 Leadership Fiji Alumni members for the annual Leadership Fiji Alumni Summit. U.S. Ambassador Joseph Cella spoke to the group along with other local and U.S. speakers. The theme of the summit was ‘Reconnecting and Collaborating’ to encourage the members to rebuild connections during these uncertain times amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Cella said, “As you reconnect with your fellow Alumni, we are reminded that 2020 presented challenges emanating from the plague which neither of our countries could have anticipated or prepared for. The U.S. Embassy in Suva is committed to strengthening and scaling up economic growth and free, fair, and open trade between Fiji and the United States. Whether through the signing of the Trade Investment Framework Agreement or the Fiji Forward Business and Economic Roundtables, and important public diplomacy engagements such as these, I am delighted to be fortifying long-standing bridges of bilateral trade and human development. I wish you, the Alumni of Leadership Fiji, all the very best as you strive together to further advance Fiji’s development and competitiveness.”
The Embassy also invited U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Senior Advisor Kathleen McShane as a guest speaker for the Summit who elaborated on the service industry and how the pandemic has altered ways of doing business in the U.S. focusing on new, best practices that have proven to be successful in spite of the current limitations and restrictions and how the U.S. has managed to overcome these challenges and disruptions with travel restrictions and disruptions in supply chains as well as the increasing costs of doing business.
The U.S. Embassy in partnership with Leadership Fiji Alumni acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis has created the need to reconnect and utilize channels and platforms that are viable both consciously and with purpose. This year, Leadership Fiji Alumni sought the support of Embassy Suva to reconnect and collaborate with members to encourage value-based leadership during this global pandemic.