Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says Small Island States need to lessen its reliance on the world markets, so that it is not affected too much by global economic shocks.
Speaking to the students at the University of the South Pacific students, Samoa Campus, Rabuka said global shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine against Russia, increasing fuel prices and insurance factored in with shipping services has had a negative effect on smaller economies.
Rabuka emphasized the need to prioritize food supply and food security and to be lesser dependent on food produce sourced from other countries, which has a negative effect on government’s balance sheet.
“With the increase of cost of fuel, cost of insurance premium of freight and everything else, small island countries are the ones baring the cost the most.”
Rabuka added that businesses are forced to pass on these costs to its customers in order to break even, or they are forced to bear the loss.
Also, the Prime Minister also highlighted the Fiji’s Government intention to clear its outstanding grant owed to USP and has committed Government’s intention to pay out its annual grant to the University.
Rabuka said they took an undertaking to clear the outstanding grants owed to the University.
He added that $10 million has already been made to USP earlier this year, and they will continue paying until they clear the arrears.