Friday, April 16, 2010

Fiji Economy Struggling

Posted on -  April 16, 2010

Fiji economy struggling 

Source: NZI Business
Four years after Fiji’s democratic government was toppled in a military coup the Fijian economy is still struggling.

With escalating inflation, the devaluation of the Fiji dollar, dwindling tourist numbers and Fijian exports declining, experts say it may take many years for the local economy to bounce back.

Because of media censorship it has not been easy for Fijian journalists to report on what is happening to the economy but visiting Fiji Television reporter Rachna Nath was able to file a report from Auckland.

Nath told NZI Business Fiji’s links with its major trading partners have suffered as diplomatic relationships have soured and investor confidence has nose-dived.

Nath says hopes in economic progress rest with the tourism sector with more than half a million people flocking to Fiji every year. New Zealand ranked second for tourists last year with nearly 92,000 Kiwis paying a visit.

New Zealand’s export marketing service Samoa has tapped into Fiji tourism offering a range of hospitality equipment and food and beverage products. Spokesman Blair Knill says the devaluation of the Fiji dollar hasn’t helped New Zealand as Fiji businesses look at cheaper markets in southeast Asia.

Knill is urging tourism operators not to compromise their quality or he says tourists will start leaving.

But a Fijian expert says right now it’s a question of survival. NBR business commentator Dev Nardkarni says it’s increasingly hard to get money out of Fiji and if the money flow stops that will start to have an impact.

All agree that improving diplomatic relations is the key to improving Fiji’s economic situation.

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