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Speech at China Railway First Group Farewell Ceremony for Fijian Workers
13 January 2016
2016/01/26

Honorable Minister,

President Tang, senior executives, staff members of China Railway First Group Fiji Company,

Embassy colleagues,

Friends from the media,

It gives me great pleasure to attend this ceremony to farewell the four CRFG Fijian staff who are leaving for China tomorrow for a five months training program with CRFG headquarter in Xian. Thank you very much, Honorable Minister, for honoring us with your presence despite your heavy schedule.

I very appreciate the remarks given by Vice President Song and Honorable Minister. In Vice President Song’s remarks, he mentioned the fact the over the years, while working on various projects in Fiji, CRFG has provided a lot of jobs and training opportunities to the local residents. Many of the Fijian staff have been working with the company for several years, making important contributions to development of the company’s business in Fiji. Apart from creating jobs and training to the local staff, like other Chinese companies operating in Fiji, CRFG has also done a lot of volunteer work for the local communities, like leveling school play grounds, building roads for the local villages, donating money, materials and equipments, etc. What they did has won recognition by the local people. It provides a good example of how Chinese companies operating in Fiji have undertaken its corporate social responsibilities. Just now, the Honorable Minister has expressed in his remarks his appreciation for CRFG has done in providing training to the local staff. I fully agree with what he said.

I think skill training for the work force is of vital importance for one country’s long term economic development. Fiji is now in a crucial stage of national construction and development which needs a large contingent of skilled work forces to fulfill the task of nation building. The training should not only take place in vocational schools and universities, but also be conducted on jobs. By offering internships for the local staff to be trained at the headquarter provides a new model of on job training, which I believe is of great significance. The reason why the Chinese Embassy co-hosts this function together with CRFG is that we want to send out the following messages,

First, The Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of long term, and mutually beneficial cooperation with the Fijian side. We will encourage Chinese companies to undertake more corporate social responsibilities to let the local communities to enjoy more benefits of our economic cooperation.

Second, skill training is an important component of our bilateral exchanges and cooperation. We wish to make full use of the available resources to enlarge our cooperation to train more local worker and experts. We encourage Chinese companies to provide more on job training in different forms based on their specific conditions, so as to let the local staff equipped with the necessary skill and expertise for a better career development.

Third, The Chinese Embassy and Chinese companies will enhance exchanges and cooperation in the area of skill training with the Fiji Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations. Just now I have discussed with the Honorable Minister and we agree that we will try to organize some programs to provide more incentives to the on job training of local work force.

Finally, I wish to congratulate the four young staff on getting the opportunities. You are the outstanding employees of the company and have a promising future. I hope you will work hard, and also enjoy the life during your stay in China. I look forward to hearing good news from you. Wish you all the success.

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