Call to limit vehicle imports
29 October, 2016, 12:00 am
THE Fiji Motoring Traders Association has called on the Government to limit the importation of second-hand vehicles that continue to flood the Fiji market.
Speaking at the 14th National Transport Consultative Forum at the Novotel Hotel in Lami on Thursday, association president Rohit Prakash said the number of imported vehicles had increased dramatically over the years and a strict adherence to a quota was needed.
Mr Prakash said this was evident earlier this week when one shipment alone brought about 1000 second-hand vehicles and 150 new vehicles into the country.
“There is a high number of imported used vehicles right now and the lack of regulation on who’s importing and who can send it,” he said.
“Anybody travelling around the country right now use second-hand imported vehicles despite regulations on the life of these vehicles.”
Mr Prakash made the comments after it was revealed the registration of second-hand vehicles had increased by 32 per cent this year (January-September) since 2010 (or 4000 vehicles in 2010 to about 11,000 in 2016).
According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the country imported about 8000 vehicles per year.
RBF senior economist Jacinta Hesaie said the value of imports sat at about $700 million.
She said those included imports of machineries and transport equipment.
“The transport sector accounts for 8 per cent of total GDP and it makes the transport sector the sixth largest in the Fijian economy,” Ms Hesaie said.
She said the outstanding lending to the sector (both personal and business) was about 24 per cent or $570m.