Business | SUNBIZ

Fiji One Of The Fastest Growing Economies Post Covid: Chetty

“The construction sector has been hit hard in recent years, but the sector largely plays an important role in the recovery of the economy and potentially in rebuilding to a sustainable level.”
09 Sep 2022 16:00
Fiji One Of The Fastest Growing Economies Post Covid: Chetty
From left Construction Industry Council treasurer Chandar Bala, APTC Vocational Training manager Laura Thomas with Investment Fiji chief executive officer, Kamal Chetty was chief guest at the official launch of the 2022 CIC annual conference and trade show, at Warwick Fiji. The conference proper begins today, and ends tomorrow. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

Fiji has rebuilt itself to become one of the fastest-growing nations post-pandemic, as increasing capital developments have led to an increase in construction-related activities.

Investment Fiji chief executive officer, Kamal Chetty, made the remark at the official launch of the 2022 Construction Industry Council annual conference yesterday.

The total construction work put in place for the March quarter of 2022, was valued at around $109.2 million,” he said, at the Warwick Fiji, where the conference continues today and tomorrow.

“This was up by 27.6 per cent, or $23.6 million, when compared to the December quarter of 2021.”

 

“Additionally, the total value of work put in place was also up by 6.7 per cent, or $6.9 million, when compared to the March quarter of 2021.”

“The number of building permits issued, which is a leading indicator of construction activity, grew in the first quarter,” Mr Chetty said.

“This suggests that there will be more building in the near future,” he said.

Some key economic indicators continued to improve, such as commercial banks’ new lending, which grew significantly cumulatively to July, led by lending to tourism-related sectors.

Satpreet Kayr, Ravinit Sami and Nikhat registering at the 2022 CIC annual conference, held at the Warwick Fiji Photo: Frederica Elbourne

Satpreet Kayr, Ravinit Sami and Nikhat registering at the 2022 CIC annual conference, held at the Warwick Fiji Photo: Frederica Elbourne

Other indicators that were a testament to how the economy was bouncing back, included:

  •  new lending by commercial banks for investment purposes, up by 89.2 per cent cumulative to May.
  • domestic cement sales, up by 25.3 percent over the same span, following a slight contraction in the previous month.

 

“However, the rising costs of labour and construction materials, ongoing global supply disruptions, and the general uncertainty associated with international and domestic developments may impede investment activity to some extent,” Mr Chetty said.

The skilled labour shortage continued to beleague the construction industry, he said, citing a US Department of Commerce report that highlighted 62 per cent of contractors experiencing high levels of difficulty finding skilled workers.

“The construction industry’s shortage problems don’t end with skilled workers and contractors,” Mr Chetty said.

“The US Commercial Construction Report also found there aren’t nearly enough building products compared to two years ago.”

“The construction sector has been hit hard in recent years, but the sector largely plays an important role in the recovery of the economy and potentially in rebuilding to a sustainable level.”

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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