SUVA, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop a special economic zone as an employment hub in Lautoka, the second largest city in the South Pacific Island nation.
This special economic zone is estimated to cost between 100 to 150 million Fijian dollars (about 47 million to 71 million U.S dollars) in Wairabetia, Lautoka, which is in the west of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu.
According to Filivillage website, this was revealed by Fiji's Consul General and Trade Commissioner Zarak Khan during the New Zealand-Fiji Business Mission currently underway in Suva on Tuesday.
Khan said the government had allocated 8 million Fijian dollars (about 3.8 million U.S. dollars) in this year's budget to do the initial planning work as well as land acquisition for this venture in Lautoka.
He said that after severe tropical cyclone Winston in 2016, the Fijian government realized that apart from tourism, other pillars of growth were needed to boost the Fijian economy.
At the moment they are looking at about 40 to 50 acres of land to develop in Lautoka and they are targeting both local and foreign investors, he said.
The official added the Fijian government's main goal was to develop the zone as a hub for employment in Fiji's western part.
Lautoka is known as Fiji's Sugar City because of its sugarcane belt areas. The sugar mill in Lautoka is the backbone of Fiji's economy. The mill, which opened in 1903, is still by all accounts the largest sugar mill in the southern hemisphere.
Situated in the heart of Fiji's sugar cane growing region, Lautoka covers an area of 16 square km and has a population of more than 52,500 people.