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Industry Tour Unveils $500M Plans

“In our industry visit to the West, it was reassuring to note the plans for over $0.5 billion in investments is earmarked for the Nadi/Lautoka corridor,” he said in Nadi.
01 Nov 2020 10:23
Industry Tour Unveils $500M Plans
Reserve Bank of Fiji governor, Ariff Ali, during an industry tour in Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Over $500 million of investment plans is earmarked for the Nadi/Lautoka corridor.

Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Governor, Ariff Ali, made the revelation after he led a RBF team on an industry tour of the west.

“In our industry visit to the West, it was reassuring to note the plans for over $0.5 billion in investments is earmarked for the Nadi/Lautoka corridor,” he said in Nadi.

Mr Ali said large investors with sufficient cash flow should invest now, as the economy was slack, with ample system liquidity placing downward pressure on construction, labour and interest costs.

He urged investors to capitalise on the incentives introduced by the Government in the 2020-21 National Budget, which provided for reduction in taxes and elimination of stamp duties – an important catalyst for the private sector to press on with expansion plans.

Economic Updates

“Given that tourism cuts across many sectors and accounts for 30-40 per cent of Fiji’s Gross Domestic Product, the Fijian economy is forecast to contract by 21.7 per cent this year – our largest contraction since the 6.3 per cent decline in 1987,” Mr Ali said.

He said it was encouraging to note some improvements in domestic economic activity since the onset of COVID-related restrictions in the first quarter of 2020.

“Mobility and consumption indicators have picked up in line with the easing of the restrictions domestically, while cane, timber and some manufacturing outputs have recovered somewhat from their lows recorded in the first half of the year.,” Mr Ali said.

Softening

“I am pleased to highlight the positive development in the partial indicators that we monitor point towards a softening of the contraction that was projected earlier.

“Our official forecast will be released later next month.”

Over 90 million people globally are expected to fall back into extreme poverty as a result of COVID-19, Mr Ali said.

“This is a crisis like no other,” Mr Ali said.

“Despite losing close to a billion dollars in tourism related foreign exchange income over the past six months; our foreign reserves remain at comfortable levels of just above $2.2 billion, and sufficient to cover 8.2 months of retained imports.”

Liquidity in the banking system surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time ever in August and has since hovered above $900 million, Mr Ali said.

“Our financial system is sound, well capitalised and profitable coming into this crisis and we are in a reasonably good position to cushion any related shocks,” he said.

Feedback: waisea.nasokia@fijisun.com.fj



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