FNPF to increase tech exposure

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Google was represented by Mr. Brian Quigley, Vice President, Global Network Solutions (left) and FNPF was represented by Mr Naibuka Saune, (right) the Chief Investment Officer. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has signed a partnership agreement with US tech giant Google which will see it significantly increase its exposure to the ICT market through the establishment of a green ICT park in Fiji among other projects.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica, who is currently leading a bi-partisan Government delegation to the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Inaugural Investor Forum in Singapore, announced witnessing the signing alongside Secretary of the US Department of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

The FNPF-Google partnership will act as the building block in the expansion of Google’s Pacific Connect initiative into Fiji, with FNPF playing the lead role in value added initiatives once the cable lands in Fiji.

According to the statement, the two parties have plans to collaborate on the following key areas:

Pacific Connectivity: Together with its global partners, Google is investing in the Pacific Connect initiative, a series of submarine cables that aim to expand the reach, resilience and reliability of the internet for countries around the Pacific.

Green ICT Capabilities in Fiji: Google and FNPF will collaborate to expand the Pacific Connect initiative by establishing a green ICT park in Fiji, which will house the FinTel Pacific Connect Internet Exchange, termination of submarine cables connecting Japan, Australia, Chile and the United States and data center capacity.

Fostering a Data-Driven Ecosystem: Google and FNPF affirm the value of data as a strategic asset for driving economic growth and innovation and commit to collaborate to support access to data center capabilities for Fijians and the citizens of other Pacific Island nations, working with the governments of these nations.

Pacific Connect is Google’s trans-Pacific submarine cable network initiative that will connect the region to the United States and Australia via a resilient link between Fiji, Guam and French Polynesia.

“In the signed joint statement, Google and FNPF, affirmed that they remain committed to working together to unlock the transformative potential of data and data-driven technologies,” the ministry stated.

“The two parties reiterated that through this collaborative effort they can create a thriving and secure digital ecosystem that empowers individuals and fosters innovation In Fiji.

“Moving forward, the parties will engage further to realise their shared goals and objectives.”

FNPF’s current biggest exposure to the ICT sector is its 72 per cent shareholding in Amalgamated Telecom Holdings.

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