French Embassy hosts speed biz meeting to foster growth and collaboration

The French Embassy in Fiji organised a unique speed business meeting at the Elve in Toorak between the media and nine French companies to showcase their offerings and explore opportunities for growth and collaboration.

In a unique set-up akin to speed-dating, journalists moved from table to table engaged in brief five-minute conversations with each company, with the aim of establishing initial contacts and fostering business partnerships.

French Ambassador to Fiji, François-Xavier Léger, expressed optimism about the event, stating, “I hope that, in these intense moments, there will be a lot of business at first sight today. This initiative clearly highlights the priority that French companies in the world represent for our diplomacy. And in the Pacific, France’s regional anchorage is an asset. You may not know this, but we support the integration of our Pacific territories in their regional environment, as it is also one of the missions of the embassy.”

One of the companies present at the event was Suez Consulting, represented by Project Manager Quentin Etcheverry, who oversees the Support to Fiji Water and Wastewater Project. Based in Suva, Suez Consulting specialises in designing and developing responsible projects with a positive impact on the environment. It is part of the SUEZ group, which delivers essential services to protect and improve the quality of life.

Etcheverry shared that the Water Authority of Fiji project is being funded by the European Investment Bank. As part of the project, SUEZ has created a training catalogue consisting of 80 different courses that will be available to WAF employees. The courses cover a wide range of topics and will be delivered by a team of experts from SUEZ and the Fiji National University. This initiative is expected to boost the professional development of WAF employees, enhancing their skills and knowledge in various areas related to water management. It will also strengthen the overall capacity of the water authority to provide efficient and effective services to the people of Fiji.

Total, the French multinational oil and gas company, reasoned its transformation into TotalEnergies, marking a new era in the company’s history. The new name and logo reflect the company’s commitment to the energy transition and its ambition to become a world-class player in the field. TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets a range of energies including oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables, and electricity. With more than 100,000 employees, the company is dedicated to making energy more affordable, cleaner, more reliable, and accessible to as many people as possible.

Pacific Energy
Pacific Energy, a leading energy company in Fiji, has continued to expand its presence in the region since acquiring BP assets in 2010. The company has developed key partnerships with industrial clients, including Fiji Water, Vatukoula Gold Mine Limited, and Fiji Electricity Authority. Pacific Energy now holds a commanding 44.3% market share, making it the clear leader in Fiji’s energy market. The company’s continued growth and success in the region are a testament to its commitment to providing reliable and efficient energy solutions to its customers.

BRED Bank (Fiji) Pte Ltd has cemented its position as the fastest growing bank in Fiji, with a market share of 12.91% as of February 2023. The bank, which is an “A” rated financial institution and a subsidiary of BRED Banque Populaire, has been rapidly expanding its customer base, with over 40,000 customers to date.BRED Bank (Fiji) Pte Ltd currently operates six branches and one kiosk, and boasts a loan book of over $1 billion. The bank is 90% owned by BRED Banque Populaire (France), a member of the BPCE Group, which is the second largest banking group in France, serving more than 35 million customers and employing over 100,000 people worldwide. The remaining 10% of the bank is owned by BCI New Caledonia.

Environmental Law and Ocean Conservation. (ELOC)
The Environmental Law and Ocean Conservation (ELOC) has been established in Fiji to provide much-needed environmental legal and policy expertise in the Pacific Islands region. The organization, founded in 2018 by Patricia Parkinson, a specialist in international and environmental law, aims to offer technical assistance and capacity-building services to governments and non-governmental organizations to complement and strengthen local expertise.

Soleya, a new social enterprise consultancy, has been established in 2021 to provide outsourced expertise in social enterprise solutions and business development to small and medium-sized women entrepreneurs in Fiji. The company has over 30 years of project management experience in various regions, including nine years in Fiji. Soleya’s vision is to see low-income women entrepreneurs develop their businesses and become economic leaders in their community. Their mission is to provide income generation opportunities to women entrepreneurs through business advice and mentoring. The company’s objectives are to make a difference through social contribution to economic development and help women entrepreneurs achieve self-sufficiency, sustainability, and confidence.

The French Pacific Trading
French Pacific Trading, a company based in Fiji, also announced that it specializes in exporting local goods to the French Territories. The company serves as a gateway to France for local companies looking to source food products for the local market. In addition, French Pacific Trading is also a representation company for French businesses interested in being represented in Fiji. The company is particularly known for its expertise in exporting locally produced food products, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, and other local delicacies. It is also well-known for its specialization in exporting French products to Fiji, including cheese and other dairy products

New Caledonia Trade & Investment
New Caledonia Trade & Invest (NCT&I) is expands its presence in the Pacific with its physical office in Fiji. NCT&I’s aim is to strengthen trade relations between New Caledonia and Fiji and support New Caledonian companies in their export process. With over 100 members from various sectors, including agriculture, industry, services, transport, IT, health, and engineering, NCT&I provides an extensive range of services, including networking and linking companies to the right point of entry, informing them about the latest export/import requirements, providing market information and research, and organizing trade missions. To keep its members informed, NCT&I regularly holds information meetings and webinars on various topics, such as export, country focus, and investment opportunities. Members also have access to a weekly Pacific’s tender monitoring service to ensure they don’t miss any business opportunities. In addition, NCT&I is also assisting investors who are interested in investing in New Caledonia. This expansion highlights NCT&I’s commitment to the Pacific region and its goal to facilitate trade and investment between New Caledonia and its neighbors.

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