Fiji Current Affairs

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India and Fiji Inks Agreement on Defence Cooperation

India and Fiji has signed an MoU on defence cooperation after the delegation level talks between Minister of Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley and the Minister of Defence and National Security of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in New Delhi. The MoU envisaged cooperation on defence industry, military training, humanitarian assistance & disaster management. In particular, Defence partnership as well as the maritime security and naval cooperation were identified as an area of promise. The MoU provides for stepping up of defence and security ties in defence production and military training.

India-Fiji

Fiji is an archipelago consisting of 332 islands located in the heart of Pacific Ocean. The main ethnic groups in the Fiji include Fijian, Indian, European, and other Pacific Islanders. As of now, around 37% of the total inhabitants of the country are of Indian origin.

India was represented by a commissioner since 1948 to look after the interests of the people of Indian origin. After Fiji’s independence in 1970, the commissioner’s post was upgraded to that of the High Commissioner. India and Fiji’s bilateral ties have grown steadily in the past few years. Several MoUs have been signed between the two countries in the fields of health, Tourism, IT, defence and security.

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Peter Thomson elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly

Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson has been elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

In the secret ballot election for the post, Peter Thomson defeated Andreas Mavroyiannis of Cyprus by 94 to 90 votes, with one abstention.

With this, Peter Thomson becomes the first representative from the Pacific island states to get elected for the largely honorific post in the UN’s 71-year history.

Thomson will begin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st session of UNGA and will replace incumbent President Mogens Lykketoft.

About Peter Thomson

  • Peter Thomson is a Fijian diplomat. Since February 2010, he was Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
  • For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  • He was the architect of changing name of the UN’s Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group.
  • He was conferred with the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji (highest honour of the Fijian honours system) in 2014.

About UNGA President

  • President of UNGA presides over the sessions of the General Assembly which is starts begins every year in September.
  • The President is elected annually on rotational basis between the five geographic groups namely African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean and Western European and other States.

Interesting fact: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was first and only Indian to serve as President of UNGA in 1953. She was also the first woman President of UNGA.

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India and Fiji inkedd DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement)

Screenshot_3India and Fiji signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The DTAA signed in New Delhi by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Fiji’s Minister of Justice, Public Enterprises, and Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum also holds charges of Communications, Civil Aviation and Tourism. 

  • It will provide tax stability to the residents of India and Fiji and facilitate mutual economic cooperation. The move will also stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between both countries.

The agreement also incorporates provisions for an effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities of the two countries including exchange of banking information.

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