Dec 06 2010
Fiji Water, which had been pumping water from an aquifer on the same-named island nation, in November said it would quit extracting water after government officials decided to raise its extraction tax from one-third of a cent per liter to 15 cents.
The company responded on November 28, “This new tax is untenable and, as a consequence, FIJI Water is left with no choice but to close our facility in Fiji, effective Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. We are saddened that we have been forced to make a business decision that will result in hardship to hundreds of Fijians who will now be without work. … We consider the government’s current action as a taking of our business, and one that sends a clear and unmistakable message to businesses operating in Fiji or looking to invest there: The country is increasingly unstable, and is becoming a very risky place in which to invest.”
The company had a change of heart, however, the day after its deadline passed.
On November 30, it said on its blog that “Following discussions today with Fijian officials, FIJI Water will reopen its bottling plant, effective Wednesday morning, Dec. 1, at its regular start-up time of 8 a.m. Through our discussions, we have also agreed to comply with Fiji’s new water tax law. Moving forward, FIJI Water is committed to working with the Fijian government, and remains dedicated to helping the country’s economy and its people.”