A launch was staged at Auckland’s Fale Pasifika on Tuesday, where the final report on Private Sector Investment in the Pacific was presented by Professor Simon Milne AUT Associate Head of School, Research and Development and Director, NZ Tourism Research Institute on behalf of his team Carolyn Deuchar, Tracy Berno, Semisi Taumoepeau, Michael Pusinelli and Jaimee Raymond.
Professor Milne says there has been a lack of understanding about investing in the Pacific and this report aims to inform investors and explores the drivers of and barriers to private sector investment – foreign and local.
The report looks at the benefits and costs of a range of private sector investments from large foreign investment through to small scale local and expatriate investment, and examines the costs and risks of foreign investment to the receiving country, how this can be managed, and how the impact of investment can be enhanced.
The four focus areas are tourism, agriculture, renewable energy and telecommunications, and the case studies are located in Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue.
The project has also surveyed 33 experts who worked in-country facilitating or managing investment opportunities.
Recommendations from investors and experts include the provision of practical advice from investors to other investors, doing your homework before investing and not to being rash.
The recommendations also stress being clear on land issues and getting the right advice from local businesses and the community as vital, starting small, learning more about local conditions and the people and creating local networks and relationships is also encouraged, as is building in a sense of place into the products and experiences.
The report also highlights points about ensuring the right environment for investment – from strong due diligence in vetting foreign direct investment to the creation of government policies targeting key development goals including the local investor and simplifying the investment process.
Other issues brought up in the report include understanding mixing different cultures, and experiencing local jealousies and suspicions, along with the challenges of women being able to own land, and having limited access to finances.
Photo supplied. Caption: Port of Suva, Fiji