Sunday, August 01, 2010

Fiji in Shanghai

from w
This week there's a special promo for Fiji at the World Expo in Shanghai and over a million people have walked through the Fiji pod in the Pacific pavilion. Fiji water, jewelry, masi, noni juice, kava, what else? Mekes and ceremonies on August 6th.Notes from a website (with bits deleted)
Fiji’s one month at the world’s biggest trade and investment show has proven to be very successful with visitors completely captivated with our distinctive booth d├ęcor, products, traditional and contemporary artifacts on display, and our friendly Pavilion Attendants ready to share their knowledge on our unique culture and traditions, our popularity as a fantastic holiday destination and the many exciting trade and investment opportunities on offer.

Just outside the Fiji Pod is a drua – the double hulled canoe which is a pride and joy of Fiji, still revered today for its long and sacred history. At the entry to the Pod, visitors are welcomed by two magnificently carved balabala, placed on either side of the entrance, and the smiling, welcoming faces of our Pavilion Attendants.

Upon entering, visitors go on a journey which promotes Fiji’s heritage, culture, people, places and products. The panels backing the Pod represent the 14 provinces of Fiji with an assortment of artifacts complementing the designs which range from magimagi weaves of diverse patterns, to traditional artifacts unique to a particular province, and images and symbols that are both traditional and contemporary.

(On display are) commodities from the Agricultural Marketing Authority, Bio Pasifika Ltd, Fiji Fashion Week, Fiji Niu, Fiji Sugar Corporation, Flour Mills of Fiji, Frezco Beverages, Foods Pacific, Foods Processors, Foster’s Group Pacific Ltd, Golden Ocean Ltd, Mokosoi, Naturally Fiji, Niu Living, Organic Earth Fiji, Origins Pacific Ltd, Portion Pak, Radini Farm Produce & Services, Sino Pacific Trading & Development, Spices of Fiji, University of the South Pacific, Viti Foods Ltd and Walt Smith International Ltd. Also on display are beauty products from the renowned Pure Fiji.

Mandarin-speakers Yolinda Chan and Catherine Zhang have been instrumental in effectively communicating with the large number of visitors to the Pod, the majority of whom have been local Chinese. Fiji’s third Pavilion Attendant Sikeli Nailesu, has also proven to be a big draw card to the Pod, with his big friendly smile which attracts a lot of photo sessions.

Trade and Investment Opportunities
While interest generated in the Fiji Pod has been geared mostly towards tourism, there have been visitors to the Pod who are interested in finding out more about Fiji’s business climate and investment opportunities. During the month, our Pavilion Attendants have also had discussions with potential Chinese investors who identified certain areas in which they were interested in doing business.

According to Fiji’s Commissioner General for the Shanghai Expo, Annie Rogers, who represented Fiji at the May 1st Opening Ceremony and had the opportunity to interact with visitors at the Fiji Pod, “Fiji is very keen to increase the current level of trade and investment with China and this is exactly why we are going all out by participating in the Shanghai World Expo.

While the Expo is a six-month long event, the Fiji Week is scheduled to be from August 2nd -7th, with August 6th being Fiji Day when the spotlight will shine solely on Fiji. Proceedings on National Day will commence with an official opening ceremony coordinated by the Shanghai Expo Organising Committee followed by the traditional Fijian welcome ceremony the Veiqaraqaravi Vakaturaga. There will also be meke performances by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and Kabu ni Vanua which include the Meke Wesi, Meke I-Wau, and the Vakamalolo, during the day.

1 comment:

Andrew Thornley said...

Hello Wendy,
I thinks its great that Fiji looks to have trade opportunities with China; Australia has done the same to its great benefit. But it's quite another thing to say that Fiji should embrace a closer alliance with China - a one-party state with huge differences between the rich and the poor; an inadequate welfare system and, dare I mention it, a government that denies freedom of religion. Are these the things that Fiji seeks to condone through alliance? I would hope not. And yet, when I recently walked along the Suva seaside and saw the huge Chinese Embassy and then further on a very ugly concrete wall being built around Government House by a Chinese Construction Company and then of course many more Asian fishing vessels in Suva Harbour, I recognize a change in the wind. Quite probably, the reply to my concern might be "C'est La Vie". OK, we live in a world of change but how do we know that the people of Fiji endorse such a change?