Fiji Water Shuts Operations in Pacific Nation After Tax Hike

"SUVA -- US-owned bottled water giant Fiji Water shut down operations in the military-ruled Pacific nation Monday, branding it 'increasingly unstable' and a risky place to do business.

Fiji Water president John Cochran condemned the government's decision last week to hike taxes on the mineral water it extracts at an aquifer on the main island Viti Levu by 5,000 percent, from 0.3 to 15 cents a litre.

'This new tax is untenable and as a consequence, Fiji Water is left with no choice but to close our facility in Fiji,' he said in a statement, adding the loss of one of Fiji's main exporters would cost hundreds local jobs.

Cochran said the government action was effectively 'a taking of our business'. "

Abho Nand reports for AFP November 29, 2010.


Analysis: "Fiji Water: When Environment, Politics, and Economics Collide Over Bottled Water" (Peter H. Gleick/HuffPo)

Source: AFP, 11/30/2010