THE Reserve Bank of Fiji lowered the overnight policy rate on three occasions last year to induce lower borrowing costs and stimulate demand for more investment and growth in priority sectors.
Against the backdrop of slower trading partner growth, rising oil and food prices and two years of low growth and economic contraction, 2011 proved a challenging year for the country's central bank.
The RBF said policy decisions taken during the year were aimed at supporting the domestic economic recovery while maintaining an adequate level of foreign exchange reserves and low inflation.
The private sector credit grew to its highest growth of 7.6 per cent during the year while foreign reserves and inflation reached comfortable levels of $1,512.5 million and 7.7 per cent, respectively by year end, the bank said.
Fiji's financial system remained stable in 2011 with commercial banks well capitalised and non-bank financial institutions achieving satisfactory earnings and solvency positions, the statement said.
The bank's continued support to other organisations in promoting the development of the economy extended to include its sponsorship for the 2011 Crest Agriculture Show as well as the Fiji Development Bank and Investment Fiji's Small Business and Exporter of the Year Awards.
The bank expanded the coverage of its import substitution and export finance facility to include honey, poultry and pig farming while it co-ordinated a week-long micro finance exposition in the maritime zone and Suva in a quest to further encourage financial literacy and inclusion.