Business in Fiji tends to be conducted in a less formal manner than in many other countries. The use of first names is common. Business meetings often begin with small talk and sometimes proceed more slowly than an equivalent meeting in the United States. It is advisable to reconfirm business appointments and meeting arrangements. However, U.S. businesspeople should not be unduly surprised when kept waiting beyond scheduled times. In the government and financial sector, men usually wear collared shirts and ties during work hours. Very casual attire, including shorts, should be avoided. Evening functions are normally informal, unless otherwise specified. Many offices wear Bula/Aloha shirts on Fridays.
Fiji adopts a relatively conservative approach toward Sunday religious observance. A number of shopping centers in major urban areas in Suva, Nadi, and Lautoka are only open for a limited number of hours on Sunday, if at all. There are sizable minorities of Hindus and Muslims in the population who have special religious observances regarding food and drink.
Fiji uses the metric system of weights and measures. Dates are written in the order of day, month, year (for example, 10 January 2022 or 10/01/22). In writing numbers, commas denote thousands and periods denote fractions as follows: $1,000.50, as in the United States.
A passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay, a ticket for return or onward travel, and proof of sufficient funds to cover travel expenses are required for entry into Fiji. Entry visas are granted on arrival for a stay of up to four months for U.S. nationals. Business travelers do not require special visas to visit Fiji. Visas may be extended for up to six months on application to the Department of Immigration in Suva, Lautoka, or Nadi. Those wishing to reside and work in Fiji, even on a temporary basis, require proper authority to do so before arrival. In most cases, prospective employers will make necessary arrangements to sponsor such people.
“U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspeople to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following link(s): State Department Visa Website”
The Fiji dollar is the basic unit of currency. Other currencies from Australia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are commonly accepted and may be exchanged at hotels, banks, and foreign exchange counters. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas. ATMs and EFTPOS machines can also be found in most of the urban areas. Currency over FJ$10,000 (US$4,716) must be declared by travelers on arrival in Fiji.
Fiji’s telecommunication systems are fairly developed, though costly. Fiji has international connectivity through satellite and the Southern Cross Cable fiber optic network. The high-speed network can deliver a 240Gbps (capacity of submarine cable system) and a direct and secure bandwidth from Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.
Mobile phone service is the most popular means of communication but may provide limited connectivity outside urban areas or on the outer islands. The three mobile service providers include Vodafone Fiji, Digicel, and Inkk Mobile, providing 3G/4G long-term evolution mobile technology for data, voice, and text-message services. SIM and customer registration is mandatory in Fiji as part of government regulations. Wi-Fi is also available in most major resorts, hotels, and urban areas.
Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL) is one of the largest facilities-based providers of fixed line communications and network services in Fiji. Its 4G+ network compliments its fixed broadband or fixed line infrastructure. The range of products and services offered by TFL include data networking services, managed services, colocation, cloud services and voice products.
Household electrical current is 220 volts, 50 cycle and the plugs are three pronged, the same as used in Australia and New Zealand.
Commercial transportation is available for U.S. business travelers to Fiji following the lifting of border restrictions to international visitors on December 1, 2021. There are no restrictions to domestic air and sea travel, and transportation services restored from Viti Levu to the outer islands.
Fiji’s national carrier, Fiji Airways, restored scheduled flights to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States. However, Fiji Airways’ international flights to its six Pacific Island destinations remained suspended in June 2022, due to border closures in these countries. Fiji Airways also offers code-share flights with American Airlines between Fiji and the United States. Other airlines that also serviced Fiji included Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas, and Virgin Australia. Fiji Link and Northern Air are the main providers of domestic airline services. Special chartered flights for specific inter-island routes are also available by helicopter, seaplane or small aircrafts by Island Hoppers, Joyce Aviation, and Pacific Island Air.
Visitors to Fiji may drive on a valid driver’s license from their home country for the same class of vehicle or with a valid international driver’s license. Driving is on the left side of the road; however, roads are poorly maintained. The maximum speed limit on the open road is 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph), and 50 kilometers per hour (30 mph) in urban areas. In specified areas for villages, schools and industrial areas, the speed limit may range from 20-30 kilometers per hour (12-19 mph). Rental cars are available from internationally known companies at Fiji’s gateway airports and in major urban areas, but arrangements should be made in advance.
Fiji is an English-speaking country, although Fijian and Hindi are also widely spoken.
Health: All travelers (over 16 years) to Fiji are required to show proof of full-vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel and insurance for COVID-19 coverage. Travelers (above 12 years) must also pre-book and take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 72 hours of arrival into the country. Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever, and many tropical diseases endemic to tropical countries. Typhoid, dengue fever, chikungunya, and leptospirosis have periodically been reported. The country has a fairly basic medical system, but emergency care and pharmacies are largely restricted to urban centers. Public health facilities are also often under-resourced and may lack basic supplies.
Tap water in Suva, Lautoka, and the other major towns has been treated but may not always be safe to drink. Bottled water is readily available. Outside of these urban centers and large resorts, tap water should not be considered potable.
Local time, Business hours, and holidays
Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The government’s business hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm, with an hour for lunch generally between 12 noon and 2:00pm, from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the government closes early at 4:00pm. However, private businesses are usually open from 8:30am to 5:00pm, while banks operate daily from 9:30am to 4:00pm. A list of holidays in Fiji can be found on the Fiji government’s website.
Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings: Machinery and equipment imported for temporary use and a specific project and then re-exported within a 12-month period, may be allowed as “Privileged Goods” and processed as a formal import entry. Security in the form of a cash or bond must be deposited with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service at the time of importation. Upon re-exportation of such goods, the cash deposit will be refunded, or bond cancelled. Alternatively, payment of all duties may be made on entry of goods, and claims submitted at the end of project, prior to re-export.Personal and household effects category (separate from the “Privileged Goods” category) may be imported free of fiscal/excise duty, though this is subject to conditions set out by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service. For the importation of personal motor vehicles, normal duties must be paid.