Kaliopate Tavola worked for 11 years as a civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forests, rising to the rank of Chief Economist. He joined Fiji Sugar Marketing Co Ltd, and represented that company for 4 years in London and continued to do company work in Brussels for 3 years.
During that period, he was also a diplomat, firstly as a Commercial Counselor in London and as Head of Mission in Brussels. He worked for 10 years altogether in Brussels, representing Fiji to the EU, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Greece and Italy. He was also Fiji’s Representative to FAO, GATT/WTO, UNESCO, OPCW, WCO, IFAD, MFO and PCA.
He returned to Fiji after 14 years and re-joined FSM Co Ltd as its Deputy Chief Executive, before he went into politics as Minister for Foreign Affairs & External Trade from 2000 to late 2006. Currently, he operates as a consultant.