(Last update: 13 Feb 2012)
Trends and opportunities
Australia continues to expand its exports of consumer goods to Fiji. As an island nation with a vast array of requirements the breadth of trade is substantial. Items exported include:
- Clothing – both new and second-hand suitable for tropical climates
- Footwear – safety, ladies, men’s and children's
- Household items – cutlery, cooking utensils, plastic ware products, air fresheners, and car care products
- Electrical household/whitegoods – lamps, cooking and catering utensils, fridges, stoves, fans, radios, videos
- Domestic/office furniture and fittings– blinds, chairs, cushions, tables, trays, manchester, towels
- Books – educational, entertainment, religious
- Stationery – paper, pens, paints and other painting accessories
- Toys, games and sports requisites, parts and accessories
- Sporting goods – balls, nets, shoes, jerseys, water sports equipment
- Jewellery – genuine stones, imitation and fashionable
- Cosmetics – perfumes and eau de toilette, colour cosmetics, skincare and hair care products
- Health, medical, wellbeing and pharmaceutical supplies
- Textiles – woven fabric (yarn of combed wool, metal thread, unbleached cotton), terry fabric (knitted or crocheted), non-woven special yarns and synthetic woven fabrics (unbleached or bleached)
There are a number of advantages for Australian exporters in this sector, including:
- Proximity and frequency in flights and cargo vessels (although transport costs can be high)
- Good market for new exporters, small orders suit customers to trial market prior to repeat business
- Receptive markes for Australian goods and services
- By selling to Fiji your products can be regionally marketed to other neighbouring islands such as Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu and Kiribati
Opportunities vary from the top end of the market catering for expatriates, to retail stores including supermarkets and variety stores that service the average consumer with products, price ranges and choices aimed at the lower to middle income buyers.
Clothing, footwear and accessories
There is growing interest from the youth market for mid-range priced clothing, footwear and accessories from Australia ranging from casual to formal wear. There is also a growing market for career women.
Department stores and airport boutique stores such as MHCC, Tappoos, Prouds and Jack’s Handicrafts continue to sell premium brands sporting goods and equipment. Fiji has a large resort tourism market catering for over 600,000 tourists annually primarily from Australia and New Zealand. Each resort usually has a number of gift/convenience stores that also stock consumer lines.
Cosmetics, body and baby care products
There are opportunities for various cosmetics, spa and body care products in the lower to mid price range targeting the increasing numbers of career women. There are a few a few multi-national companies in Fiji but consumers are always on the look-out for better pricing and new alternatives.
Health, medical and pharmaceutical supplies
Australian standards are widely accepted for medical and pharmaceutical supplies. Australian manufactured drugs and pharmacy line items are found in many pharmacies, chemists and drugstores in the market.
Fiji’s Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Supplies Centre supplies pharmaceuticals to other Pacific Islands and annual tenders are called by Fiji’s Finance Department. A number of Australian exporters supply to this tender through their partners here in Fiji.
Household, electrical items
Many household and electrical brands in Australia in the whitegoods area are also popular and widely available in Fiji.
Many suppliers enter the market by selling to local agents and distributors or selling direct to major retailers. Fiji’s electrical system use is 240 volts, 60 cycles AC. Electrical outlets take the three pronged, angled configuration plugs used in Australia.
Australia is the largest supplier of textiles to the garment industry in Fiji. Opportunities exist in the supply of textiles and other inputs to the garment industry, which specialises in cut, make and trim (CMT) of garments for re-export.
The majority of textiles exported from Australia are suit material, knitted fabric and work wear cloth. Textiles not imported under CMT arrangements are normally priced CIF/FOB on metre lengths.
Australian textile suppliers must recognise the potential threat to their position coming from aggressive price based competition. Suppliers in Asia and South Asia such as China, Taiwan, Pakistan and India, have started to market to the industry. China and Taiwan have quickly become significant exporters of fabric to Fiji, along with New Zealand.