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Economy could have collapsed: AG


Jul 27, 2022 01:22:05 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in his right of reply on the 2022-23 National Budget said if Fiji had not borrowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy would have collapsed.
He said the debt levels across all countries have increased and 40 per cent debt to GDP ratio is not a realistic benchmark for developing countries.
"In a post pandemic world, every single country in the world has increased debt post COVID."
"This will eventually come down as the economy recovers."
"Had we not borrowed in COVID-19, the economy would have collapsed, would have had large devaluation."  
"Social challenges would have increased, the price levels would have skyrocketed and our reputation internationally would have been tarnished through our decisive leadership and various hard measures."
Sayed-Khaiyum further said Fiji has come out of the COVID-19 crisis and is on the path of recovery.
"We've come out of the COVID-19 crisis to really understand that so, we have to look at various factors like the cost of debt, the ability to refinance debt, when it falls due the exposure to foreign exchange and interest rate fluctuations."
"The availability of foreign exchange when an external debt has to be paid the profile the quantity of debt repayments of the upcoming is the level of government revenues to service the debt, the purpose of the debt, understanding who are the lenders, and what are the lending terms and conditions? What is the state of the economy and the outlook? What are the consequences if Government decides not to borrow and many other factors it has to be a lot more nuanced, more sophisticated."
By Romeka Romena  

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