ICT to Fiji
Trends and opportunities
Fiji has a relatively efficient and reliable telecommunications system with links to New Zealand, Australia and North America via the Southern Cross Cable. The high speed network can deliver 240Gbps and has a direct and secure bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.
There are two major players in the communications market: Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd (ATH) and Digicel Fiji Ltd. ATH make up the bulk of the country’s telecommunications industry, owning Telecom Fiji, Vodafone Fiji, Fiji International Telecommunications Ltd (FINTEL) and Connect.
The main companies and their services include:
- Telecom Fiji Ltd provides domestic transmission of voice and data services.
- Fiji International Telecommunications Ltd (FINTEL) supplies international voice and data services into and out of Fiji by linking to the Southern Cross Cable.
- Vodafone Fiji Ltd provides mobile telecommunication and internet services.
- Connect provides ADSL and wireless internet services.
- Digicel provides mobile telecommunication and internet services.
Current ICT business types include:
- call centres
- mail management
- data/voucher processing
- software development
- audio visual
- disaster recovery management systems.
Fiji has attracted renowned business process outsourcing (BPO) investors such as Mindpearl, ANZ Pacific Operations and Packleader Pacific.
Areas of opportunity include:
- network integrators and managed service providers
- e-commerce that will enhance customer service and experience
- e-government and e-tax
- online learning for corporate and education providers
- mobile application and value-add service providers
- professional services and billing systems
- software products particularly in human resources management, distribution and logistics, library, medical, manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, retail and POS systems
- data integration and backup and document management systems.
Australian and other overseas businesses have invested in and are operating call centres, data/voucher processing, tele-hosting/warehousing, software development and disaster recovery management.
Australian suppliers face competition mainly from New Zealand with increased competition, particularly in hardware, coming from Asia.
Some of the common market challenges experienced in doing business include:
- understanding and complying with investment procedures without seeking professional advice
- slow processing of government approvals depending on the investment level
- limited infrastructure in regional areas with readily accessible utilities
- relatively high costs of utilities, especially power and communication
- small population base from which to draw skilled labour.
Tariffs, regulations and customs
The fiscal duty applicable ranges from five to 32 per cent.
A nine per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable on all imports. Businesses registered under the VAT legislation can claim an input tax credit in relation to VAT paid on their imports. Financial advice on this matter should be sought before undertaking a project.
Marketing your products and services
The Government Suppliers Department and Information Technology and Computing (ITC) Services coordinate the government’s ICT requirements and regularly issues tenders and requests for quotations. ITC services will be able to provide further advice on short and long-term requirements in various government departments.
Most Fiji ICT-based companies are interested in pursuing exclusive distributorship arrangements with reputable brands that give them the leverage for differentiation and a competitive advantage. The advantage to the supplier is having a local representative that can grow and penetrate the market with the expertise to provide support services for long-term viability.
Australian suppliers should be aware of the following issues when exporting ICT products to Fiji:
- ICT suppliers have a better chance of success if they are able to differentiate their products from what is already sourced from New Zealand, North America and Asia.
- Fiji businesses have experience in dealing with ICT products and are receptive to new and innovative products.
- Services and consultancy is emerging as an industry sector resulting from the loss of skilled personnel due to migration and limited capacity by local training institutions to adequately meet demand.
- Consistent contacts with the Government Procurement Office and ITC services will be beneficial as they are able to advise on short and long-term opportunities.
- Fiji companies expect local back up support for ICT products that they purchase.
ICT products and services are distributed in Fiji through:
- direct distribution to customers
- joint venture or distribution arrangements with one or a number of local business partners
- supply arrangements with corporations and government based on their requirements
- a project-by-project basis through direct consultancy contracts with government agencies or corporate entities.
Improving infrastructure and the growing popularity in electronic commerce for banking, mobile technology and bill payments presents opportunities within a limited market reach. This will change as ICT infrastructure is expanded to meet business and consumer needs.
Links and industry contacts
Fiji Bureau of Statistics
Fiji Department of Information Technology & Computing
Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority
Reserve Bank of Fiji
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