#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: ANZ calls for easing of Fiji sanctions but fails to disclose its commercial interest

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ANZ calls for easing of Fiji sanctions but fails to disclose its commercial interest

Norman Wilson with Ken Dakuidreketi last year.
ANZ is barrelling in behind the Lowy Institute and its call for Australia to lighten up on Fiji.

This is the same bank, of course, that went on the military regime's March 'roadshow' in Asia, as it boasted it had raised $F500 million in bonds to pay off $F300 in foreign bonds raised in 2006.

ANZ Fiji's Norman Wilson (pictured at right) said he was confident of Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum's management of the encomy but  made no mention of what ANZ's cut was or what percentage of bonds it bought.

We now have ANZ's Pacific CEO, Michael Rowland (pictured below), saying Australia's so-called smart sanctions aimed at securing the return of democracy in Fiji have not worked and it's time the Australian government changed its approach.

It follows the launch of a Lowy Institute paper which suggested Australia lift its travel bans on Fiji and put together a coalition of nations, including Asian democracies such as India and Indonesia, to help Fiji with electoral reform in the lead up to a promised poll in 2014.
 
Rowland gave this interview to Radio Australia's Jemima Garrett

ROWLAND: Australia has taken a particular policy stance with Fiji for a number of years and we would say that hasn't been successful.

GARRETT: What impact has that tough stance had on business and on Australia's standing as a business partner?

ROWLAND: We would say that more generally Fiji has suffered from a lack of investment over a longer period of time and unless there is an opening up of the economy and an acceptance of new investment, the Fiji economy will continue to deteriorate and we think quite rapidly.

GARRETT: Now you say that for any approach to Fiji for the restoration of democracy to be successful, it needs to be lead by a country other than Australia. What makes you say that?

ROWLAND: Our view is that the approach by the Australian government to date, which is quite understandable, hasn't worked and we think we really need to look at this differently and it is critical that any approach to the Fiji government works. Therefore there is more of a chance in our view that a coalition of interested nations, preferably lead by a respected Head of State, comes to the party and has open dialogue with Fiji. We think its more than just an Australian issue now. We think it's a regional issue and we think the Fiji government would be more open a multi-coalition approach.

GARRETT: Just how much animosity are you picking up to Australia and is that the reason why you think Australia couldn't lead something like this?

ROWLAND: I think by the Fijian government's actions in relation to Australia, I think they speak for themselves.

GARRETT: Jenny Hayward Jones has suggested that this coalition of nations include the major Asian democracies. Is that a good way to go?

ROWLAND: We think so. We think that Asia has a lot to offer Fiji. We are seeing with ANZ's broader supra-regional approach that there is a lot of investment interest in Fiji from Asia and we think, therefore, that there is a real role to play by a number of the Asian countries. We've seen recently that Fiji has opened an embassy in Indonesia, for example, and we are seeing that there are reasonably good relations being forged with a number of the other non-aligned nations. So we think that an approach from and involvement of Asian nations would be beneficial.

GARRETT: Do you think governments would be as interested as business seems to be in the Pacific?

ROWLAND: We believe so, yes. We are seeing a lot of interest from Asia into the Pacific. The Pacific has a lot of what Asia needs, particularly from an agricultural point of view, but also minerals and resources and we think that will only increase.

GARRETT: At the moment Fiji is excluded from talks from the PACER Plus agreement - the regional trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand. The Lowy institute paper suggests using access to PACER Plus as a carrot to persuade Fiji to accept help for the return of democracy. What is your reaction to that idea?

ROWLAND: I wouldn't say that involvement in PACER Plus should be used as a carrot. We would say that Fiji as the traditional hub in the Pacific, needs to be involved in PACER Plus discussions. But as the Lowy institute paper says it is certainly something that should be encouraged and it would be well received in Fiji if they were included.

GARRETT: Would you like to see that straight away or should it wait until commodore Bainimarama has shown some signs of being willing to go ahead with his timetable for the return of democracy?

ROWLAND: Our view would be that to achieve successful elections in Fiji in 2014 means that work needs to commence now. The paper talks about support for redrafting the constitution and also for electoral reform so we would say that work really needs to be underway very quickly. And so if we all have any chance of achieving what I think is a generally held view that democratic elections in Fiji are a good thing then we really need to start now so the package of measures that are outlined in the policy brief we think are important and they should all be embarked upon as quickly as possible.

GARRETT: Fiji's interim Prime Minister and coup leader, Frank Bainimarama has rejected every overture made to assist with the restoration of democracy so far. What is in it for him in terms of accepting this offer from an international coalition?

ROWLAND: We believe Fiji is sincere in its desire to move towards elections in 2014. I think they would also recognise that to achieve that they need some help around the issues of the constitution and electoral reform so we would think that, given that the Fiji government believes that, and that there is a well-meaning approach to assistance that they would see the benefit and effectively accept the proposal.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its called talking your book.The Commonwealth Bank got out.ANZ is looking for the rewards.A simple bottom line view,profits first,ethics and morality a long long way behind.One should not be surprised by ANZ Bank's self interest.

Verani. said...

AUS banking execs are all on multi million $ salaries - unfortunately as a consequence some are prone to suffer severe IFS (inflated ego syndrome) - actually believe their expertise & intellect extends into other areas such as international politics much to the detrement of the area their handsomely rewarded for which is local banking.

Anonymous said...

For Australia supporting change of constitution is Treason period.

If Bainimarama wants Fijian supremacy, then he should do it on its own and not ask other nations to support. Let that me local decision.

Because any other nation cannot tell they are supporting an unlawful act given that the constitution is a living government. Only thing absent is an elected govt, and that does not constitute review of entire constitution.

Anyone supporting change of constitution is a supporter of AIAZ or is opportunist for supremacy.

Fiji can run as is until the commander retires. But no one can ask for new constitution unless they are a party to the crime.

Anonymous said...

it is unprecedneted for a corporate institution such as ANZ Bank to make such a strong political statement in respect of Fiji's political situation. it is no doubt the result of multimillion dollar cut they got out of road show. What does the bank expect the Fijian and international community to do when Fiji's own citizens human rights are violated thru media censorship, human rights abuses, curtailing of freedom of movement, speech and expression.

Pleaase Warden Narsey can you enlighten us further on this. Its time for ANZ clients to reconsider banking with ANZ. Probably they dont need us anymore or care about us when they have Fiji Government coffers in their pocket.

sara'ssista said...

How about 'NO'. Suck it up boys. Made your bed....

Anonymous said...

Another highly delusional individual who thinks that Bainivuaka will hold elections in 2014. Australia and New Zealan aren't so gullible as to believe what Vore is saying when his actions or lack thereof are clearly to the contrary...if you need further proof ask any currently serving army officer and they will tell you that there won't be any elections in 2014. That has already been decided, what is happening now is the soft sell to the public some of whom have already been won over or more correctly, bought with taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

ANZ has no ethics , they have always stoop low to suck profit, I urge readers to see in last 2-3 years number experience ANZ staff left their job many because ANZ do not practice what they preach. ANZ is going down to dogs.

VereBau. said...

If any further proof was required
that the Lowy Inst in general and Jenny H Jones in particular have lost the plot - here it is.

Having multiple degrees in Vanuatu governance is fine - but this is Viti not Vanuatu - sorry Ms Jones but you have'nt a clue?

paula raqeukai said...

it shows the lack of ethics and disrespect to the people of fiji by ANZ....TO ROWLAND AND WILSON WHEN THE PEOPLE OF FIJI IS QUIET DUE TO CENSORSHIP IT DOES NOT MEAN EVERYBODY AGREES TO WHAT IS HAPPENING....PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING IN SILENCE....AN YOU KNOW THAT VERY WELL, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE WILL NOT TELL THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH IS THAT WE WANT GOD FEARING LEADERS TO LEAD THE COUNTRY OUT OF ITS MESS AND NOT SELF-PROCLAIMED PM OR AG WHO HAVE CORRUPTED DEALINGS IN YOUR VERY NAKED EYES...ANZ IS ONLY INTEREST IN THEIR FEE OF THE $F500 MILLION BONDS....SO CAN THE TWO GENTLEMEN BE MAN ENOUGH WITH INTEGRITY AND TELL THE PEOPLE OF FIJI WHAT IS ANZ'S FEE ON THIS 500MILLION BONDS RAISED??????????????????

No to ANZ said...

Wearing suits but mercenaries with hands deep in the sulus of military

Anonymous said...

Thats it..I'm closing my ANZ bank account..Never want to use their services anymore..I thought Banks weren't supposed to make political statements..Looks like their CEO is corrupt beyond repair..

Anonymous said...

What is the reason this time for Frank being out of the country.

Appalling action said...

This is appalling action by the ANZ Bank. Someone in this bank, which has not only pocketed a big fee for helping the regime borrow money the country cannot afford but now seems to be openly supporting a human rights abusing regime, needs to be immediately held to account.

Anonymous said...

ANZ BANK ARE MAKING MILLIONS IN PROFIT.
THEY MUST HAVE GIVEN A CUT TO AG/BAI.
TELL THE FIJI PUBLIC HOW MUCH INTEREST/COMM ANZ MADE OF THIS LOAN DEAL.
FIJI PEOPLE SHOULD STOP BANKING WITH ANZ.
WHY GOVT PAYING 9% INTEREST RATE TO ANZ .
WHEN YOU COULD GET 2 % RATE FROM CHINA GOVT.
SOME ONE MAKING COMM HERE BIGTIME ON THE EXPENSE OF FIJI TAX PAYERS.
WHAT IS FICAC/COMMERCE COMM DOING ON BANKS.REAPING FIJI PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

Interest rate should not be more than 2% of banks fixed interest rate. What is the current fixed rate for 5 years with ANZ for 1million Plus?

Anonymous said...

CORRUPT ANZ BANK/AG/BANI
PEOPLE OF FIJI SHOULD ACT NOW FIGHT .

Anonymous said...

ANZ are a ripoff stealing from the people of Fiji. Commerce Commission should investigate and tell them to pay back all illegal fees and they should be also heavily fined.

They are not worried about the people of Fiji but only their own pockets.

ANZ NOW SUPPORTS TERRORISTS AND THUGS AND DOES NOT CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW.

MONEY ,MONEY, MONEY IS ALL THEY CARE ABOUT AND NOT THE PAIN AND SUFFERING THE PEOPLE OF FIJI ARE GOING THROUGH EVERYDAY.

SHAME ON YOU ANZ FOR EVEN TALKING ABOUT THIS AND SUPPORTING THIS ILLEGAL REGIME.