Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fiji - liberalisation

Govt to announce an open call market

The interim regime is expected to announce that Fiji's telecommunications market is finally open next Tuesday.

A special Cabinet meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to endorse the way forward.

All operators are expected to have obtained their board endorsement of the terms of agreement by tomorrow, a statement from the Ministry of Communications said.

A public announcement outlining the details of the new order will be made following the special cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

The Government and directors and management of Telecom Fiji Limited, Vodafone Fiji Limited, Fiji International Telecommunications Limited and Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited participated in a mediation over four days, starting Friday last week.

It was facilitated by World Bank appointed mediators to agree conditions for deregulating the telecommunications industry.

Extensive dialogue and negotiations has resulted in an agreement between all parties with the intention of achieving an orderly transition to a competitive telecoms regime in Fiji, subject only to Cabinet and board approval of the signatories, the statement said.

"All parties look forward to bringing the process to a productive and collaborative conclusion," it stated.

Communications Minister Taito Waradi said the outcome of this mediation is no doubt an historical event that would contribute enormously to the economic, social and cultural development for the people of Fiji, now and into the future.

"It is also a historical event for Government as we bring the telecom operators and government together through the mediation process in a meaningful and effective manner to chart a map for the orderly reform of Fiji's telecommunications sector."

Waradi said the parties have agreed to the form and shape of the "new order" and where the current incumbent operators should fit into the new deregulated environment.

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