Fiji 50pc productive

Nesbitt Hazelman at the Fiji Australia Business Forum at Marriott Resort Fiji Momi Bay. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJI is operating at 50 per cent productivity but it has the ability to do much better than that, says Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation CEO Nesbitt Hazelman.

He made the comment while speaking at the Fiji Australia Business Forum at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay last Friday.

“Our population is well-educated, over 90 per cent has achieved some level of education, we’ve got free schooling and we’ve got a tertiary loan scheme that gives every child opportunity,” he said.

“There’s little data on productivity at the national level and that’s where we should be targeting at. “Wage-linked productivity exists but that’s largely in the private sector.

“I have insisted at the Employment Advisory Board that for all wage increases and I am talking about the 10 wages councils — one of the key indices should be productivity and we should be able to measure it.

“Productivity must be key and foremost and then we can talk about CPI (consumer price index) and all those other things.”

Mr Hazelman also said while businesses measured productivity within their organisation, there was very little measure done on a sectoral or national level.

“There’s little evidence on productivity that exists at a country level and this is where we need to be.

“And we have urged Government through the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics that this is where you should be looking at.

“If you want to get investors into this country, this is one of the things they look for — they want to see where our productive levels are.

“They want to know what are the hindrances to productivity in this country, why are we competing with countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam in terms of the garment industry with their productivity levels much higher than ours.”

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