More infrastructure and a development master plan is necessary for Nadi as it moves to towards city status, says the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The declaration of Nadi Town into a city in 2017 with planned expansion of the boundaries that has been thoroughly discussed and debated for some time now will spur business activities and investment opportunities,” it noted in its official submission to the Government’s National Budget for the next fiscal year.
“We are ready to take on the challenge and hopefully be Nadi City later this year, as announced by the Minister for Local Government (Parveen Bala).
“Nadi is perhaps the fastest growing town in Fiji but we fail to see a development master plan. A lot of ad hoc development is taking place, which should come under the radar as we are working towards city status.”
The Chamber believes more infrastructure is necessary to cater to the tourist town’s impending municipal expansion.
“Infrastructure investments, improving roads, drainage, tarsealing etc- allocation of funds and strong emphasis on infrastructure developments is warranted. We have untapped potential in rural areas that needs to open up with incentives.”
It hopes that construction of private hospitals with a 10-year tax amnesty results in more private health care facilities being constructed in the Western division.
“Lautoka Hospital and likewise Labasa Hospital should also be considered as university hospitals in the near future. There’s scope to turn these two into super hospitals to kick start medical tourism.”
Additionally, the Chamber has pushed for more funding towards sporting facilities.
“We would like to see sports facilities in Nadi to be of international standards to make Nadi the Sports City of the South Pacific as we have the most important commodity i.e the hotel accommodation that can easily cater for more than 10,000 athletes and spectators from overseas.
“A national sports stadium with all the amenities should be considered in the near future for this region to encourage and embrace sports tourism, which is growing in strength all over the world. We are missing out on opportunities due to the lack of international sports structures that we need to tap into.”
It added that a museum and botanical gardens should also be considered.
“The NCCI is aware of a good location and a house in Votualevu overlooking Nadi Bay and Nadi Airport that could easily house a museum. And a botanical garden is another.”
Tarsealing all rural roads and providing essential services in rural areas, the Chamber noted, would prevent the migration of rural dwellers to urban areas and ultimately boost domestic growth and improve their economic wellbeing.
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