Economic growth

THERE has been more rapid economic growth through robust investment in Fiji, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Survey of the Asia and the Pacific 2014.

It said solid investment helped the economy achieve a faster growth rate of 3.6 per cent in 2013 compared with 1.7 per cent in 2012.

Tax cuts, an upward adjustment in tax thresholds and higher workers’ remittances, boosted domestic demand.

It was highlighted that inflation eased to 2.9 per cent in 2013 from 3.4 per cent in 2012 as global fuel and food prices moderated.

Even after the aftermath of Cyclone Evan, domestic food prices stabilised.

The survey said a public sector pay hike did not appear to raise inflation significantly.

For 2014, Fiji’s economy is projected to grow at a slight 3.8 per cent. Despite the fall in public investment, sectors such as construction and sugar should support the projected expansion of the economy.

The survey highlights the increase in imports and fall in exports, which impacted the nation’s GDP. This despite the rise in remittances in 2013.

The Fijian Government’s policy is to have a public and private partnership in State-run entities such as ports to be paying off dividends.

Another move that was applauded was the devaluation of the dollar in 2007, which helped Fiji stay afloat despite the global crisis during the time.

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