Budget 2020-2021: $8m cut across foreign missions; five embassies close permanently

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The Fijian Government is cutting $8million in spending across its foreign missions by centralising country accreditation.

Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced in his national budget address for the 2020-2021 financial year saying missions in Washington DC, Seoul, Port Moresby, Brussels and Kuala Lumpur would be closed permanently.

He reasoned in a changing trade and investment landscape, those missions “do not reliably make returns on Government’s investment in their operations”.

“Instead, our remaining embassies in Geneva, New York, Tokyo, London, Abu Dhabi, Wellington, Beijing, Jakarta, New Delhi and Canberra will expand country accreditation and engage more locally-based staff. For example, the New York Mission will represent Fiji in Washington, which is only one hour away by plane,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.