WITH close to $290million in remittances coming into the country annually, there needs to be a way to have these funds invested and not spent unnecessarily.
This was heard at the Reserve Bank of Fiji Capital Markets Development workshop that ended at the Novotel in Lami on Thursday.
The workshop heard that those funds sent by Fijian nationals working abroad to their families here were spent on luxuries and spent in other ways but rarely invested.
And the answer to this, hotelier Radike Qereqeretabua said boiled down to the leadership for those people who often received remittances. He said for members of their mataqali in Kadavu, which he and his wife led, were all voluntary members of the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF).
Unit Trust of Fiji general manager Vilash Chand said this was one of their objectives - to tap into foreign remittances.
"We have to encourage them (recipients) to invest rather than spending those funds right away," Mr Chand said, and added they needed to create the platform first.
Meanwhile, Mr Qereqeretabua called on relevant stakeholders to reach out to villages and preach the gospel of investments and its benefits. "This is important because many of us are ignorant," he said.
Talking to practitioners of the capital markets, Mr Qereqeretabua recommended that the 10-year National Capital Market Master Plan to be drafted by the capital market taskforce to also include the need to take financial literacy and financial intelligence for iTaukei in the country.