THE loss of human capital is one of the major constraints in the growth of business in Fiji.
This was a comment made by International Labour Organization (ILO) Pacific Islands Countries director Davind Lamotte, while speaking at the sixth Fiji Human Resources Institute National Convention at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort in Sigatoka yesterday.
Quoting recent studies by Islands Business Magazine, the South Pacific Business Development Report and the Economic Growth in the Pacific, Mr Lamotte said there was widespread recognition that over the last three decades in Fiji there was a significant loss of human capital.
"This is not a phenomena specific to Fiji or to the Pacific. In many countries educated individuals often migrate from poor countries to rich countries seeking opportunities," he said.
"The number of departing Fijian workers increased before independence in 1970 and between then and the mid-1980s, an average of between 200-300 people left the country each month."
He said since 1987, these numbers had doubled and even tripled.
"This haemorrhage of human capital was majorly due to the military coups and political upheavals.
"Today it might be fair to argue that Fiji is at the crossroads because recent studies have shown that the lack of human capital is a significant constraint to business investment and growth," Mr Lamotte said. He said the problem could be dealt with by government and corporate bodies.