The University of South Pacific today held its first ever Fijian economy discussions at the Holiday Inn in Suva where speakers from various Universities in Fiji, civil society groups and government ministries presented their views on the country’s current economic status.
Dr Sunil Kumar, a senior lecturer at the School of Economics in USP argued that more in-depth analysis should be done on the primary factors in the sugar sector.
His presentation was based on the Economic survey of Fiji and stated that public reforms, political reforms and preparations for the 2014 general elections should start immediately to further boost the confidence of Fiji’s economy.
“The development of the new Constitution should be completed in time, security should be provided to the environment in terms of crime and property rights, clearance processes need to be simplified and fast tracked in the business environment and should build capacity and market synergies in specific sectors,” Dr Kumar said.
In a response from Government, Luke Koroisave of the Ministry of Planning stated that the decline of the Fijian economy from 2007-2011 is due to global crisis.
He said that investment target of 25 per cent has not been achieved by the Fijian government since 1981 and the total investment has been on the decline for the last three decades since 1977.
“Weak macroeconomic performance for the past 18 years has been recorded by the government due to political instability, weakening export base, lack of labour skills due to migration and high utility cost are some of the reasons for the weak performance,” Koroisave said.
Koroisave further said that the current government is working according to its strategic plan which includes reforms done to Rewa Diary, improving the Fiji Sugar Corporation infrastructures and the increase in rice farming in the Northern division.
By Indrani Krishna