SUNBIZ

ANZ Forecasts Fiji’s Growth to 22.3%

ANZ Pacific lead economist, Kishti Sen, Fiji’s GDP was forecasted to grow by 22.33 per cent by the end of this year underpinned by strong visitor arrivals. This is against the 11.3 per cent GDP growth announced by the Reserve Bank of Fiji in December 2021 which would likely be revised.
31 Mar 2022 12:00
ANZ Forecasts Fiji’s Growth to 22.3%
ANZ Fiji country head Rabih Yazbek (left), and ANZ Pacific Economist Kishti Sen on March 30, 2022. Photo: Laisa Lui

ANZ Pacific lead economist, Kishti Sen, Fiji’s GDP was forecasted to grow by 22.33 per cent by the end of this year underpinned by strong visitor arrivals.

This is against the 11.3 per cent GDP growth announced by the Reserve Bank of Fiji in December 2021 which would likely be revised.

In an interview yesterday, the Sydney-based bank staff said the leading indicators for visitor arrivals were quite positive.

 

Mr Sen is in the country this week holding a series of forums with bank’s clients and stakeholders.

In his presentation to ANZ stakeholders, he highlighted:

a.  Fiji was open to 66 travel partners

b. VFR (visiting friends and relatives) arrivals will be boosted when restrictions ease further

c. More products and markets opening up (including key NZ and Pacific markets)

d Forward bookings very encouraging

e Tourists are staying longer in a post-COVID world. Hotel occupancy in January 2022 was the same as January 2019

f Dropping of the three-day minimum hotel stay requirement from April 7 should lead to more VFR arrivals

g Anxiety about getting COVID has reduced as more people are infected with fewer hospitalisations and deaths. People trusting the vaccines more and living with the virus

h. Leisure travel supported by pandemic savings to highly vaccinated countries is coming back strongly Fiji, he added, was still a competitive destination and way ahead of some competitors in vaccine coverage.

 

ANZ

 

Reason For Increase
During the 2021-2022 National Budget, it was announced that this year’s growth would be 4.1 per cent based on the assumption that our international borders would open in the last quarter of this year.

However, our borders eventually opened on December 1 accelerated by high vaccination rates.

This then showed a revised growth of 11.3 per cent by the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

 

Now that our second largest travel and trade partner’s border was opened – New Zealand and other emerging markets – it would mean more travel to Fiji.

“You will see how the historical figures directly impacted on GDP,” Mr Sen said.

“This is because the macroeconomic policy committee assumed that the borders will open towards the end of this year.

 

“The assumption was that Fiji will get to 35 per cent of the 2019 arrivals this year, if the borders open that late, which is very low number.

“Now obviously, the borders opened…they revised visitor arrivals quickly to 447,000.”

“And they lifted the GDP straightaway to 11.3 per cent.”

“So from 4.1 per cent, it went to 11.3 per cent.”

 

“But the 11.3 per cent is based on 450,000 visits coming in.

“Now if they raise it to about 650,000 that number will come up to more than 20 per cent.”

Mr Sen returns to Sydney on Friday.

 

Feedback: ranobab@fijisun.com.fj



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