THE Fiji Government says sustainable modes of travel could be the key to overcoming the remoteness and small size of Pacific Island countries while also slashing our fuel import bills.
Speaking at the opening of the 2nd Sustainable Sea Transport Talanoa on Monday, Fiji's deputy secretary for Transport and Energy Malakai Tadulala said sustainable transport needed to be seriously considered.
"The challenge now is that because of rising fuel costs, transportation is the major issue in Pacific Island countries," Mr Tadulala said.
"For Fiji, transportation consumes over 65 per cent of our imported fuel, which at one stage was $1.2billion and for us to be sustainable in our development, we need to look at renewable sources of energy for transportation."
He used the example of Fiji to highlight the cost of sea transport on profitable and non-profitable routes.
Mr Tadulala said while profitable sea routes drew a lot of commercial cargo vessels and all manner of roll-on roll-off vessels, the uneconomical sea routes were largely neglected and had to be subsidised by the government.