Fiji has signed an air services agreement with Hong Kong, which is expected to be a catalyst for boosting tourism and economic development.
According to the Hong Kong government news website, Secretary for Transport & Housing Eva Cheng signed an air services agreement with Fijian Foreign Affairs Minister Inoke Kubuabola in Hong Kong today.
It said the agreement is the 61st of the kind to provide a legal framework for establishing air links between the two places.
“It is in our mutual interest to establish direct air links between the two places. The signing of the agreement is in line with our policy of progressive liberalisation in air services between Hong Kong and our aviation partners,” Cheng is quoted saying.
Fiji’s flag carrier Air Pacific is expected to make its maiden flight to Hong Kong on the 17th of this month with Government officials on board.
Amidst the optimism over open air links with Asia, there is fear that access to Hong Kong will increase Fiji’s attractiveness as a hub for human trafficking and prostitution.
Former director of Immigration Viliame Naupoto said at a business forum last week there was a need for government to seriously look at its migration management.
He said that as a seaport hub, Fiji was also being increasingly used by drugs and prostitution rings to smuggle in Asian prostitutes to service crews of hundreds of fishing vessels crawling Pacific waters and who come to Fiji to refuel and replenish supplies.