The government says in 2022, total imports grew significantly by 57.7 per cent to $6,586.2 million, after the expansion of 11.7 per cent in 2021.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad said the strong growth was underpinned by increases in all major categories with the largest contributors being mineral fuels, machinery and transport equipment (excluding aircraft), food, and live animals and manufactured goods.
Professor Prasad said the sharp increase in domestic demands following the opening of the international borders as well as the rise in global commodity prices, higher freight charges and supply chain disruptions contributed to the substantial increase in imports last year.
“In 2023, total imports are projected to rise by 3.1 per cent to $6,789 million, led by growth in mineral fuel, machinery, and transport equipment and food imports-Although import costs are expected items is expected to remain elevated given the pickup in domestic activity.”
“In two years, total imports are forecast to increase by a modest 1.4 per cent to $6,885.7 million and one per cent for 2025, respectively. Global commodity prices and inflationary pressures in trading partners are anticipated to moderate, while domestic profit to return to pre-pandemic level,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance said in 2022, total exports expanded by 25.7 per cent to an all-time high of $2,322.2 million, following a five per cent growth in 2021.
In the New Year, total exports are forecasted to grow by 4.8 per cent to 2,433.8 million, largely due to the growth in re-exports coupled with a slight expansion in domestic exports.
The strong growth in re-experts is driven by the economic rebound in PICs- However; the slowdown in Fiji’s trading partners coupled with warning prices of gold and sugar could weigh on export receipts in 2023.