NEWS

International Monetary Fund Report Finds Praise

“Over the past decade, these reports tell a consistent story of how the Bainimarama and FijiFirst governments have dramatically raised the capacity of the Fijian economy, responsibly managed national debt and diversified our economic mix, producing the longest stretch of economic growth in Fijian history.
26 Feb 2019 12:34
International Monetary Fund Report Finds Praise
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Fiji’s debt as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product has decreased from 53 per cent in 2006 to 47 per cent in 2016 given the strides we have made economically.

This is among a number of positives highlighted in the 2018 International Monetary Fund report that has been welcomed by Fiji.

Last night Acting Prime Minister, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum released a statement welcoming the report.

The IMF’s report on Fiji has recognised:

That Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product sits at an all-time high;

Our 9 straight years of economic growth and the positive projections for the years ahead;

  • Decreasing inflation;
  • Lowering unemployment; and
  • High levels of foreign reserves.

The report also outlines a number of important recommendations to enhance the consistent and responsible management behind the record-breaking success of our economy.

From the period of 2006 until 2016, Fiji’s debt as a percentage of GDP decreased, falling from 53 per cent in 2006 to 47 per cent in 2016. However, that trend was disrupted by the severe devastation of tropical cyclones Winston, Gita, Keni and Josie, which required large-scale public spending to address.

“Over the past decade, these reports tell a consistent story of how the Bainimarama and FijiFirst governments have dramatically raised the capacity of the Fijian economy, responsibly managed national debt and diversified our economic mix, producing the longest stretch of economic growth in Fijian history.

“We welcome the IMF’s 2018 Staff Report, which notes the continuing strength of our economic performance and the resilience of our economic growth.

“The strength of our economic position prior to TC Winston granted us considerable leeway to ease our fiscal policy to fund a comprehensive rebuilding effort to boost resilience across our economy.”
Winston Rebuilding:

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said our rebuilding effort has funded a network of more resilient infrastructure that will spare our nation considerable rebuilding costs over the long term.

“This was a necessary short-term expenditure of around $500 million from 2016-2018 and a major factor behind the increase in our debt to GDP percentage to 50 per cent in 2018. Were it not for the impacts of these severe natural disasters, our debt levels were projected to continue decreasing.

“As we move out of the rebuilding phase from TC Winston, we plan to re-establish the trend set by the FijiFirst Government, prior to Winston, of reducing our fiscal deficits. We fully endorse the report’s recommendation that we move towards fiscal consolidation.

“Our plan of fiscal consolidation has been clearly set out in the 2019-2020 budget strategy that has been approved by Cabinet and which will be reflected in the 2019-2020 National Budget.”
Private sector:

To generate private sector investment and activity, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji will maintain its low tax regime, which remains the most attractive in the region, as well as a stable interest rate and policy environment.

“We will continue to improve tax compliance, closing additional loopholes in enforcement that have historically enabled financial leakages from our country. We will also continue our efforts to diversify our economic mix to ensure the sustainability of our economic growth and development.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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