Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says Fiji’s economy is facing a triple threat that can hinder the country’s recovery and growth.
Speaking at the 56th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, the Minister of Finance said Fiji’s excessive high Government debt, the delay in investment to the critical infrastructure and the impact of unforeseen shocks from climate change and other local and global shocks are on the Government’s radar.
He said Fiji continues to face unique challenges that have exacerbated in recent years including that COVID-19 pandemic that affected Fiji’s economy, loss of employment, loss of Government revenue and more importantly the loss of Fijian lives.
He said the ADB’s long-standing partnership and support for Fiji is allowing the economy to recover strongly.
“While Fiji’s recovery is on track, extensive damages are far-reaching. Fiji as a nation must intensify its efforts to combat climate change, loss of bio-diversity and the rising inequality and build a sustainable inclusive economy for the future.”
Prof Prasad called on the ADB to increase support for Fiji, which is critical to assist in the economic challenges and to promote future sustainable growth and development.
He said increasing support for Fiji and Small Island States does not impact the balance sheet of the ADB, however is a great deal of help to Pacific Island Countries.
“This is a particular area of interest for ADB. We see that ADB’s continued support to Fiji is now more than ever needed to help pave the way out of the critical challenges the economy faces and to promote future sustainable growth and development,” Prasad added.