Acting PM clarifies issue: ‘Uplifting of order to ensure investment of $800m stayed in Fiji’

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Minister for External Trade Cooperatives and SMEs Manoa Kamikamica after the cabinet meeting. Picture: JONA KONATACI

One of key reasons for uplifting the prohibition order on the Laucala Island Resorts hangar project at Nadi airport was to ensure that an overseas investment of $800 million remained in Fiji.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications Manoa Kamikamica made the comments during a meeting with the Nadi Chamber of Commerce on Friday night.

“The real issue with the Laucala hangar was that we had investor who had been approved to spend $30 million in this country to build a hangar and then out of the blue after spending $9 million he gets stopped from completing the hangar,” Mr Kamikamica said.

“There was absolutely no reason given why that happened and to this day, no one has told us why that has happened.

“When we were in the politicking stage, one of the directors of Laucala reached out who expressed in uncertain terms the concerns from Laucala and more particularly the potential damage it could cause to a country like Fiji in terms of investment climate and the ability of investors to come and invest in our country.”

Mr Kamikamica said he made representations to the Minister for Tourism Viliame Gavoka and the Prime Minister.

“The Prime Minister decisively moved and we had the prohibition order lifted about a week or two ago.

“Just imagine if that investor had decided to pull out and leave Fiji after spending $800 million in this country and he sends $3 million every month for the upkeep of that hotel in Laucala.

“With this government, you will find a respect for investors – not only local but also overseas investors.

“Be assured that you will be treated equally.”

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