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EDITORIAL: Stability, Governance, Reforms, Key To Positive Economic Development

The positive report of the Fijian economy to be released by the Reserve Bank of Fiji is a major confidence boost for all stakeholders, particularly the ordinary people. The benefits
10 Feb 2015 07:35
EDITORIAL: Stability, Governance, Reforms, Key To Positive Economic Development

The positive report of the Fijian economy to be released by the Reserve Bank of Fiji is a major confidence boost for all stakeholders, particularly the ordinary people.

The benefits of the significant improvement in key performance indicators are filtering down to the people and will continue to do so.

The increase in job vacancies is a key performance indicator. The number of new jobs advertised rose by 12.8 per cent in 2014 to 9194.

Inflation was down. Cane production increased by 13.7 per cent and sugar production went up by 25.8 per cent.

Consumption spending on several fronts increased. The most significant was in the lending sector where it jumped by 72.8 per cent. Investment spending also spiked. Imports of investment goods rose by 24.5 per cent, domestic cement sales up by 21.2 per cent and new investment lending also grew by 11.3 per cent.

In tourism, visitor arrivals reached a new record of 692,630, representing an increase of 5.3 per cent. There are indications that this trend will continue.

Everyone should be buoyed by these figures. They are not plucked out from thin air as some may tend to think including Tupou Draunidalo and other Opposition MPs.

The snide and scurrilous attack on the Fiji Sun for reporting these figures is symptomatic of an Opposition malaise. Being in Opposition does not only mean that they have to question everything that Government presents.

Political expediency seems to take precedence in their approach to issues. By all means, go ahead with the questions. But it will be so much better if they provide credible and sustainable alternatives also. An effective Opposition is one that not only criticises but also offers alternatives.

Critics in the Opposition camp only have to call hotels, maybe start with the five-star hotels in Denarau, Nadi. They will learn how the hotels have been performing.

The change to truly democractic government has provided the political stability that has been a key catalyist to economic development.

Government reforms have also played a prominent and influential role in stimulating the economy. The reforms have opened up new market opportunities which in turn have created new jobs. This, coupled with increased competition, technological development and innovations plus investment in foreign interests, has helped.

The Government’s emphasis on transparency, accountability and anti-corruption drive has no doubt had a positive impact on our economy.

It stands as a lighthouse in the region on the issue of governance. It is one issue that sets Fiji apart from other nations in the region, excluding New Zealand and Australia. It is also the reason why more investors will do business with us because we offer the security of their investment.

Sabre rattling by the Fiji Trades Union Congress last weekend indicates that it is serious about challenging the Government on trade union laws. It would probably get a better outcome if it talks to the relevant ministry instead of being confrontational and politicising its campaign.

The sustained economic growth in pre-election and post-election has been achieved through a stable industrial climate.

It will continue if we maintain the status quo.

 

 




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