Chairperson, Mr. Robert G. Lyon Welcome Address at the Northern Golden Jubilee Client Cocktail

Fiji Development Bank Board of Directors’ Chairperson, Mr. Robert G. Lyon Welcome Address at the Northern Golden Jubilee Client Cocktail

Friendly North Inn                                                                                          5 September 2017

Labasa                                                                                                             1800 Hours


Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation – Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa;

Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation – Dr Josefa Koroivueta;

Roko Tui Cakaudrove Filimoni Naiqamu;

Commissioner Northern, Mr. Jovesa Vocea;

The FDB Board of Directors, Management & Staff, and

Distinguished Guests.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Bula Vinaka, Namaste and a very good evening to you all.

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the Fiji Development Bank’s [FDB] Northern Golden Jubilee Client Cocktail.

On behalf of the FDB family, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Hon. Minister for accepting our invite to be our chief guest – Thank you, Madam Minister.

I also welcome our clients who have been our Partners in Progress for many years, including Ms. Parbha Wati [Pronounced: Paar-bhaa Waa-tee] who joined the Bank in 1995 and Mr. Salacieli Ravatuniwasaliwa [Pronounced: Sala-deilee Rava-tuni-wasa-liwa] who joined us 41 years ago in 1976. Both from Seaqaqa. Let us put our hands together for all our clients, ladies and gentlemen.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As most of you are aware, 1st July 2017 marked FDB’s 50th year in establishment.

The milestone anniversary celebration was launched by the Honourable Prime Minister with the unveiling of the golden jubilee logo and theme “Development for Fijians Across Generations” and the launch of the Bank’s three-year Strategic Plan 2018-2020.

A new strategic course is being set, ladies and gentlemen, as the Bank celebrates its 50th year of operations since establishment in 1967, transitioning from the Agricultural and Industrial Loans Board which was established 16 years earlier when development banking started in Fiji.

At the launch, and I proudly note, the Prime Minister acknowledged FDB as standing true to its tagline as a Partner in Progress to the government and the major role the development bank has played in making Fiji the modern, dynamic island economy that it is today.

Such validation from the government is motivating and further reinforces the Bank’s vision of being a dynamic financial service provider, contributing to the development of the Fijian economy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

With more and more Fijians becoming eager to join the formal financial sector through Government’s various empowering initiatives, the Prime Minister also acknowledged FDB as being responsive to the national financial inclusion agenda.

Indeed, we are truly being responsive.

We are forging ahead with the ambitious goal of promoting financial inclusion across Fijian societies.

Last month at the Western Division anniversary celebration, we launched our revamped website –

A connectivity tool to reach out to Fijians and to assist in bridging the connectivity gap when it comes to the question of financial literacy and inclusion.

Because we believe an informed and financially literate community is better positioned to be empowered to make informed decisions about finances.

And this month, as the Prime Minister had announced, FDB is making it more affordable than ever before to take out loans with the Bank.

As of 1st of September, for a six-month period, all application fees for loans under $19,999.99 have been waived, along with the establishment fees for all loans up to $4,999.99.

This promotion is initiated to encourage Fijians especially in the Small and Medium Enterprise and Agricultural Sectors to access financing for developing their businesses and capacity in sustaining their businesses.

While we are utilizing the traditional means of promotional marketing, we wanted to launch the digital production of this promotion here tonight with our Northern division clients.

This promotion is our 50th anniversary deal for our existing and new clients- we call it the No Frills Loans.

We have had great reason to celebrate reaching half a century! But we could not have done it without you. So we are making it more affordable for you to do business with us.

I urge all Fijians looking to start-up or expand their businesses to take advantage of this promotion that will run till March next year.

As we move forward, FDB will continue to empower and develop Fijians as it has been doing so for generations.

We will continue to strategically fund development projects with the aim of moving forward to boost the resilience of the Fijian economy. And with your partnership, we will live up to our strongly cemented development-role expectation.

We look forward to introducing more exciting strategic tools and loan products for our clients, our valued Partners in Progress.

Wish you all a wonderful evening and thank you once again for joining us in celebrating our 50th anniversary.

Thank you.