The prime minister of Fiji Josaia V. Bainimarama (centre left) joins Peace Arch Duty Free president Peter Raju on a walk through the U.S. border.

Fijian PM visit heralds trade mission

Surrey Board of Trade hosted dignitaries from Fiji Friday, before announcing a trade mission to the island nation.

A brief visit to Surrey Friday by the Prime Minister of Fiji marked the first time a leader from his country has visited Canada.

Rear Admiral (Rtd.) Josaia V. Bainimarama was guest and keynote speaker of a luncheon with the Surrey Board of Trade at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

Later Friday afternoon – accompanied by an extensive entourage of aides and security personnel  – he took the opportunity to visit Peace Arch Park and the Canada-U.S. border.

With entourage and media in tow, Bainimarama walked from the Peace Arch Duty Free store to the Peace Arch, marveling both at the fact he could walk through the park – which covers both U.S. and Canadian soil – freely and without his passport, and at the growing lineup of cars waiting in each direction.

After a brief stop underneath the arch for photos – as well as a photo at the southwest corner of the property, near the “Welcome to the United States’ sign – the prime minister and his group returned north of the 49th parallel.

The prime minister’s visit coincided with an announcement Friday afternoon that the Surrey Board of Trade was embarking on a trade mission to Fiji in November.

Fiji – a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean – currently exports nearly $184 million worth of goods into the U.S. and Canada, and is seeking foreign investment into agricultural and livestock production, dairy, renewable energy, communication technology and other areas.

“Surrey stands at a critical juncture where the right decisions, through foreign and domestic investment… will create economic opportunities for a generation and beyond,” said Greg Thomas, chair of the Surrey Board of Trade’s international trade team.

“I think that in Surrey, Fijian businesses and Canadian businesses can focus on the strength and innovation within every entrepreneur to take an idea and use it as the foundation for building a business, locally and globally.”

– with files from Alex Browne

Just Posted

City of White Rock hosts official pier reopening

Event included ribbon-cutting, speeches, live music

Surrey school district to allow students to miss class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

Surrey RCMP need help to find missing man

Denis Godard, 64, who was reported missing on Sept. 19

Little library stolen in Clayton Heights

Thieves permanently check out family’s book collection

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Most Read

l -->