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“Explore new opportunities” - Australian High Commissioner
Oct '08
At a market development workshop under the TCF sector training and productivity support program held in Suva, capital of Fiji, the Australian High Commissioner James Battley said, “future success of Fiji's textile and clothing industry would require new thinking and change in strategy from its enterprises”.

Mr James said “end of and imminent conclusion of long standing preferential trade agreements had significant implications for companies and countries which had benefitted from these arrangements”. “Even before the recent global financial turmoil, there was ample evidence of a tightening retail environment”, he added.

Giving out figures he said that in the current year, apparel sales in Australian market were reportedly down by 8.8 percent in comparison to last year, so the key challenge he said was the need to make gains by exploring new opportunities in markets which have begun to contract.

Mr James further added by saying that standards of quality and service continue to evolve and just as Fiji based enterprises recognise the need to raise performance, so too do the competitor countries like China, Cambodia and Bangladesh.

He suggested that the Fiji should grow at a faster rate than its competitor countries to gain an advantage over them. He also spoke about the effect on Fiji traders of the impact of the dramatic changes in value of Australian dollar.

He ended by saying “All of these challenges in some way create an impact on the industry's ability to market itself successfully”.

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