Fiji’s debt level will reach the $10 billion mark by June, which is approximately 85 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This was announced by His Excellency, the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere at the opening session of Parliament today in Suva.
Ratu Wiliame said there is also another $1.8 billion in contingent liabilities.
He said these are mainly in the form of loan guarantees, some of which are expected to be called up – which amounts to around 15 per cent of Fiji’s GDP.
“The debt level severely limits the Coalition Government’s capacity to borrow further for critical capital expenditure on infrastructure such as roads, ports, hospitals, water and sewerage. Our national debt also restricts Government’s ability to direct spending into key areas such as education, health and social welfare payments.”
“As a small island nation with a narrow resource-based economy, prone to natural disasters and geographically isolated, it is important that we must continue to take a cautious approach as we face headwinds,” he added.
Ratu Wiliame added that the Government must now foster and strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations with our close neighbours to attract much needed development assistance and trade access.