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Commemorative Currency Launch To Mark Fiji 50

Two million commemorative $50 polymer notes and two million commemorative 50 cents coins will be distributed to commercial banks today.
08 Oct 2020 09:48
Commemorative Currency Launch To Mark Fiji 50
Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor Ariff Ali (left) and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while launching the Fiji’s 50 year of Independence commemorative banknote and coin at Grand Pacific Hotel on October 7, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama unveiled a commemorative currency in Suva last night, to mark Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence.

Two million commemorative $50 polymer notes and two million commemorative 50 cents coins will be distributed to commercial banks today.

The currency, which goes into circulation today, cost 46 cents for a $50 note and 43 cents for a coin, bringing to $1.7million the cost of production.

RBF will today roll out distribution of the commemorative 50 cents coins to Fiji’s 230,000 primary and secondary school students.

The note depicts the Government building clock tower chiming at 10 o’clock, which was the exact moment when Fiji’s new flag was raised to half-mast, Mr Bainimarama said.

The back of the bill shows children, which Mr Bainimarama said were symbolic of Fiji’s future inheritance. The 50 cent commemorative coin was exceptional in its own right for as the first ever coloured coin to be released in Fiji’s history, he said.

From left-European Union (EU) Ambassador to Pacific, His Excellency Sujiro Seam, Reserve Bank Governor Ariff Ali and Assistant Minister for Women Veena Bhatnagar with the new fifty cent coin following the launching of Fiji's 50 year of Independence commemorative banknote and coin by Reserve Bank of Fiji at Grand Pacific Hotel on October 7, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

From left-European Union (EU) Ambassador to Pacific, His Excellency Sujiro Seam, Reserve Bank Governor Ariff Ali and Assistant Minister for Women Veena Bhatnagar with the new fifty cent coin following the launching of Fiji’s 50 year of Independence commemorative banknote and coin by Reserve Bank of Fiji at Grand Pacific Hotel on October 7, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

He said the commemorative currencies marked the beginning of Fijian resilience.

De La Rue printed the notes and, according to Mr Bainimarama, offset the carbon emissions from production, to assist in the construction of a seawall in a village earmarked by the Government.

Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Ariff Ali said work on the commemorative currency began three years ago following, extensive collaboration between De La Rue and Royal Canadian Mint.

He said it took more than a year of meetings for a banknote design to be completed, following the approval of the board.

“We have also witnessed nine consecutive years of positive economic growth – an extraordinary achievement in the country’s post independence history.”

Fiji’s foreign reserves grew from $24 million in 1970 to over $2.3 billion, today.

From left -Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Health Dr Iferemi Waqainabete and Shaenaz Voss, Fiji Link Executive General Manager Group Corporate International and Government Affairs, during the launching of Fiji’s 50 year of Independence commemorative banknote and coin by Reserve Bank of Fiji at Grand Pacific Hotel on October 7, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

From left -Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Health Dr Iferemi Waqainabete and Shaenaz Voss, Fiji Link Executive General Manager Group Corporate International and Government Affairs, during the launching of Fiji’s 50 year of Independence commemorative banknote and coin by Reserve Bank of Fiji at Grand Pacific Hotel on October 7, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

“At the time of independence, total currency in the economy was $14 million; and now it stands close to $900 million,” he said.

The financial system 50 years ago was smaller at $150m today, it was around $26 billion, he said.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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