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FIJI’S PIVOTAL IN THE REGION
The pivotal role that Fiji plays in the region was highlighted during the milestone opening of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Regional Training Centre (RTC) today.
When launching the regional training centre at the Fiji Revenue Customs Authority, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama raised the sentiments.
“Our central location makes Fiji a convenient hub for the South Pacific, and hosting the Customs Regional Training Centre in Fiji is a significant step towards greater regional collaboration,” PM Bainimarama said.
“It is a concrete sign of Fiji’s willingness to contribute in a major way to regional prosperity.”
Prime Minister Bainimarama added that regional training centres were a key component of regional capacity building.
“The regions are best placed to identify and respond to their country’s training needs, foster standardised practices among close neighbors and trading partners, and form links among customs officials from neighbouring countries,” PM Bainimarama said.
“The proposal to establish a RTC in Fiji is in line with FRCA’s strategic vision to be a leading revenue collection and border management agency and helping other Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) towards international best practice in Customs matters.”
The head of government also said the changing nature of global production, with growing trade in intermediate goods and inputs, underscore the importance of having efficient customs administration at every stage of trade.
“My Government has been actively engaged with the international community in order to strengthen trading and formal diplomatic links, and has recently opened new embassies in South Africa, Brazil, and Korea, and will soon send a mission to the United Arab Emirates,” PM Bainimarama said.
“In our endeavor to boost trade, Fiji has also been negotiating Double Tax Agreements with a number of countries.”
The launching of the RTC is the culmination of months of planning and preparation after the WCO secretary general, Kunio Mikuriya and Fiji’s Ambassador to Brussels, Peceli Vocea signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a WCO regional training centre in Suva on June 30.