The Fijian diaspora in New Zealand came together in a show of unity with the launch of their own business network in Auckland last week.
More than 70 entrepreneurs, professionals and individual operators gathered in Mount Roskill, Auckland, for the launch of the Fiji Business Network, which had been in the works for months, but Covid restrictions prevented a physical meeting.
Maungakiekie Golf Club was the venue for the inaugural networking evening for members excited about forming their own group that aims to foster and develop entrepreneurship, while helping to boost New Zealand’s economy.
The formation of the network took place following a series of online meetings over the past few months by a select group of individuals, and the organization is now a formal entity with an increasing number of members.
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Raj Chand, one of the founders of the network, said that while the group is aimed at businesses or individuals with ties to Fiji, membership is open to anyone.
“This evening is an opportunity for us to meet, connect and bring together various founding members as well as interested parties and many new members have joined as well,” said Chand.
“It’s a great start for the organization: it’s connecting businesses, it’s connecting our community together, and it’s also serving the community and nurturing new businesses, and providing mentorship to new businesses. “
The network, which has assembled nearly 50 members in recent weeks, has so far attracted a powerful core group with broad skills, including two trade commissioners at Glynis Miller of Pacific Trade Invest and Praneet Singh, the former Fiji trade commissioner. in the USA.
Arvind Kumar / Tips
Fiji Business Network (NZ) member Vinay Kumar talks about investment opportunities in Fiji at the network’s launch in Auckland on Monday.
Chand said a concerted membership drive continues and they hope to get at least 200 members by early next year.
“There are many events planned as we grow, and one of the most important events will be a trade show which we hope will take place in the first half of the year. “
The Fiji Business Network is run by a working committee whose members take turns, eliminating the need for a structured hierarchy of officials.
According to a recent analysis by the Whanau Community Center, nearly 150,000 people of Fijian descent live in New Zealand and run 15,000 businesses employing 45,000 people.
Fiji is New Zealand’s largest regional trading partner and one of its top 20 trading partners, while New Zealand is Fiji’s third largest trading partner and second largest tourism market.