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ANZ Launches Economic Outlook Report For Fiji

Fiji’s economy has performed remarkably well this decade.This is according to the ANZ’s Fiji Economic Outlook released yesterday. The report, by ANZ International Economist, Dr Kishti Sen, highlighted that despite
15 Jun 2018 12:53
ANZ Launches Economic Outlook Report For Fiji

Fiji’s economy has performed remarkably well this decade.This is according to the ANZ’s Fiji Economic Outlook released yesterday.

The report, by ANZ International Economist, Dr Kishti Sen, highlighted that despite frequent setbacks from cyclones, floods and drought, the country has managed to avoid a recession.

The report highlighted economic growth this decade has been 0.3 per cent above the long-term trend growth of 2.8 per cent, which has pushed the unemployment rate down to 4.5 per cent.

ANZ expects Fiji’s economy to grow by 3.3 per cent in 2018 and 3.1 per cent in 2019, supported by strong private and public sector investment.

Household consumption expenditure, the largest contributor to GDP, is forecast to increase by an average of 3.3 per cent a year over the next two years, supported by employment growth and remittance inflows.

“Better still, Fiji has exceeded its long-term trend growth, which has resulted in nearly 100,000 new jobs over 10 years,” Dr Sen said.

“Policymakers should develop strategies to push Fiji’s growth profile towards a higher plane. China has done it.

“More recently, Bangladesh has embraced this philosophy of faster paced job creating growth as the best remedy of relieving people of economic hardship.

“With world-class vocational colleges, Fiji can train and export to meet these skilled labour requirements, just as Fiji has done for nurses, teachers, peacekeepers, rugby players and seasonal workers.

“While the headline numbers are impressive, more work needs to be done to lift the labour force participation rate, in particular the female participation rate.”

ANZ Country Head for Fiji, Saud Minam, said: “Fiji’s economy is largely driven by tourism, which also has downstream effects for our customers in other industries, including wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services.

“To help Fiji unlock its full potential, local businesses should aim for export-oriented growth and to broaden the range of tourism product offerings, including cultural tourism. We can take a lead from other markets that have achieved a faster pace of economic expansion to create more job opportunities and make Fiji a better place to live and work.”

With elections coming up later this year, the report highlighted that it is an opportune time for politicians to reset Fiji’s growth agenda. By doing so, they will be making Fiji a better place for all its citizens.

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