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Ageing population not a worry : Academic

 

May 13, 2013 11:31:40 AM

Ageing population not a worry : Academic Fiji and other Pacific islands should not worry about its population ageing facing advanced economies, says Australia’s Griffith University Professor Ross Guest.

Presenting at the Pacific conference on Finance and investment held at the Fiji National University last week Professor Guest said there is plenty of time to deal with the demographic changes that result in an ageing population.

Professor Guest said Pacific countries were in the early stages of the demographic transition and were enjoying a demographic dividend from rising employment to population ratio or support rations.

He predicted that these rising support ratios would boost Gross Domestic Product per capita and living standards by several per cent over the next few decades.

He said there would be a very small capital widening dividend and potential capital deepening dividend while other potential dividends due to effects of ageing on labour productivity were more speculative however there will be more positive outcome.

“Fiji’s employment to population ratio, or “support ratio”, is 26 per cent below New Zealand’s. Boosting it would raise living standards and GDP per capita.”

He also said some ways to boost living standard would be through policies that encourage later retirement including policies to improve productivity were good per se, and did not need a demographic motive.

He further added microeconomic reforms, such as less regulation of labour markets and business,  tax reform to improve incentives to work, save and invest and lowering trade barriers were other means.

By Mereani Gonedua
 

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