NATION

Positive 2.2% Revised Growth Rate Expected

A revised growth rate of 2.2 per cent is expected, following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston on the Fijian economy, says Finance Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said
09 Mar 2016 13:00
Positive 2.2% Revised Growth Rate Expected
Growth

A revised growth rate of 2.2 per cent is expected, following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston on the Fijian economy, says Finance Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said under current circumstances, this was very positive.

Fiji was expecting a growth rate of 3.7 per cent after the last budget announcement.

“If you look across the board, there will be an enormous impact on all our budgets,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Speaking at the Tourism Action Group meeting held to address the recovery post Cyclone Winston, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum outlined the expected expenditure that would be incurred in coming days.

“To put this into perspective, if you consider that 20,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and, say, each household gets $3000 each to rebuild or repair, we are looking at $60million.

“If we help everyone in Fiji who is on some form of social welfare –  whether it is families below the poverty line, single mothers or the elderly – we are looking, very conservatively, at another $20m to $30m. If we feed people for one month, we are looking at an extra $10m-$15m.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum noted that sugar cane production has also been greatly affected because of the widespread damage to the crop.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum noted that tourism provides 30 to 35 per cent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product.

“What we need to do is ensure that we keep up the momentum of the industry. It is critically important for us to take a unified approach to address these challenges. And while there are a lot of negatives right now, we see a lot of positive opportunities that we can develop if we remain focused. That is the message that the Tourism Action Group needs to take to all of its members,” he said.

 

 

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti

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