fbpx ADB's Work in Fiji | Asian Development Bank

Fiji and ADB

ADB’s country partnership strategy for Fiji focuses on promoting private sector investment, broadening access to quality services and economic opportunities, and reducing economic volatility.

ADB's Work in Fiji

ADB Membership

Joined 1970

Shareholding and Voting Power

Number of shares held:
7,218 (0.068% of total shares)

Votes:
46,332 (0.348% of total membership, 0.535% of total regional membership)

Overall capital subscription:
$103.96 million

Paid-in capital subscription:
$5.2 million

Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific, with tourism as the main driver of economic activity and foreign direct investment. In 2020, international travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused a collapse in tourism arrivals and contributed to an estimated 19% contraction in Fiji’s gross domestic product.

Boat ride in Fiji

ADB has been supporting Fiji since 1970 and is currently working with the national government based on the country partnership strategy, 2019–2023. Over the strategy period, ADB anticipates an allocation of $600 million in sovereign and nonsovereign resources to help Fiji overcome its key development challenges, including pandemic recovery.

Since 1970, ADB has committed loans totaling $789.4 million, grants of $6.4 million, technical assistance worth $39.7 million, and ADB-administered cofinancing of $35.7 million for Fiji.

Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to Fiji amount to $642.6 million. These were financed by regular ordinary capital resources, and other special funds.


ADB-Supported Projects and Programs

ADB engagement in Fiji focuses on achieving economic recovery beyond COVID-19, driven by sustained and inclusive economic growth led by the private sector. This goal is being advanced through investments in transport infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, and public sector management.

In 2018 and 2019, ADB committed a total of $80 million for the first two subprograms of a policy-based loan program to support private sector-led growth. A planned third subprogram of $100 million was increased to $200 million, and committed in August 2020, to help finance the Government of Fiji’s COVID-19 response. The program supported government reforms to strengthen fiscal management; establish policy, legal, and institutional frameworks for state-owned enterprises and public–private partnerships; and improve Fiji’s business and investment climate.

In 2020, ADB provided grants totaling $2.4 million from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund in response to COVID-19 and Tropical Cyclone Harold. The bank’s integrated support for COVID-19 response also included technical assistance to Fiji Airports and nonsovereign lending to Fiji Airways.

ADB has been investing in upgrading and rehabilitating Fiji’s roads since the 1980s. Associated reductions in transport costs and travel times have helped disadvantaged groups participate in the cash economy and access employment opportunities and social services. Since 2014, investments in transport infrastructure have been cofinanced by the World Bank under a $100 million project that is rehabilitating and resealing more than 300 kilometers of roads and conducting studies on 40 critical bridges and three jetties.

Fiji's road network is being repaired and upgraded to improve mobility, safety, and climate change resilience.

ADB has also helped improve Fiji’s water supply and sewerage services, with one project improving water supply to about 150,000 people living in the Greater Suva area. This work is being further advanced by an ongoing project— utilizing a $42 million loan from ADB, a $27 million loan from the European Investment Bank, and a $31 million grant from the Green Climate Fund—which will expand access to sustainable water supply in Greater Suva.

ADB expects to finance cost-effective solutions to address flood hazard protection for Nadi town and the lower Nadi river floodplain. It is also undertaking a strategic review of development options for the Suva Port, including analysis of sites for potential relocation.

Fiji also benefits from country-specific and regional technical assistance projects, covering areas such as climate change, public sector management, and private sector development.

Nonsovereign Operations

As a catalyst for private investments, ADB provides financial assistance to nonsovereign projects and financial intermediaries. Total commitments in loans and equity investments from ADB’s own funds in 2020 amounted to $1.4 billion for 38 transactions in economic and social infrastructure, finance sector, and agribusiness. ADB also actively mobilizes cofinancing from commercial and concessional sources. In 2020, ADB mobilized $1.9 billion of long-term project cofinancing and $3.3 billion of cofinancing through its Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program. Total outstanding balances and commitments of nonsovereign transactions funded by ADB’s own resources stood at $14.3 billion as of 31 December 2020.

During 2020, ADB prepared a $65 million facility to provide liquidity support for Fiji Airways, which provides crucial transport links in the South Pacific. The airline plays an important role in freight, health, education, and communication services as well as tourism, which accounts for about a third of Fiji’s gross domestic product. ADB’s financing will help fund Fiji Airways through the COVID-19 crisis. The facility was subsequently approved in 2021.

Port of Suva is Fiji's main container and multipurpose port facility. It is the principal gateways for the country's international trade.

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing partners, governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and commercial organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds are provided in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and other nonsovereign cofinancing such as B loans, risk transfer arrangements, parallel loans and equity, guarantee cofinancing, and cofinancing for transactions under ADB’s Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program.

ADB began cofinancing operations in Fiji in 1992. Since then, sovereign cofinancing commitments for Fiji have amounted to $312.04 million for seven investment projects and $3.52 million for five technical assistance projects.

In 2020, Fiji received $50 million loan cofinancing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and a total of $2.2 million grant cofinancing from the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand for the Sustained Private Sector-Led Growth Reform Program—Subprogram 3.

A summary of cofinanced projects is available at Fiji: Cofinancing.

Operational Challenges

Fiji faces operational and implementation challenges similar to other Pacific island countries, with limited capacity in the public sector and frequent staffing changes in key positions within both the public and private sectors. These constraints are reflected in the design of ADB projects, making appropriate technical assistance an important component of ADB support to Fiji.

ADB operations in Fiji are enhanced by the presence of the ADB Pacific Subregional Office in the country’s capital, Suva. There is strong coordination and harmonization with other development partners, and significant analytical work has been done to enhance Fiji’s development prospects.

Aerial view of Suva, capital of Fiji

Future Directions

ADB’s country partnership strategy, 2019–2023 for Fiji focuses on three strategic pillars for the country’s development and these will help drive sustainable growth out of the COVID-19 pandemic. ADB will help promote private sector investment and growth by investing in infrastructure, providing policy-based loans, and offering technical assistance to improve the business and investment climate. The bank will assist in broadening access to quality services and economic opportunities by making inclusive infrastructure investments, improving social services, and supporting efforts that increase the employment and income opportunities of Fiji’s poor and disadvantaged. The bank will also work to reduce economic volatility in Fiji by investing in climate- and disaster-resilient infrastructure assets and supporting government efforts to build macroeconomic buffers and fiscal resilience.

ADB will support these objectives through policy analysis and advice, sovereign and nonsovereign financing, and strategically targeted technical assistance.

This article was originally published in the ADB and Fiji: Fact Sheet. Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.

Spotlight on Fiji

Green Jobs for Women: Construction Skills for Fijian Women

19 Aug 2021 | Video

Green Jobs for Women: Construction Skills for Fijian Women

This ADB project equipped Fijian women with carpentry skills to contribute around shelter preparedness in their communities, as well as to access employment opportunities within historically a male-dominated construction industry.

Pacific Economic Outlook Weakens, But Vaccination Progress Provides Optimism — ADB

29 Jul 2021 | News Release

Pacific Economic Outlook Weakens, But Vaccination Progress Provides Optimism — ADB

Despite a weakening economic growth forecast for the Pacific, recent progress in vaccination rollouts and stronger public health measures are providing optimism for the safe reopening of borders in the near term, according to...

ADB, Australia Helping to Strengthen Public Financial Management in Pacific

20 Jul 2021 | News Release

ADB, Australia Helping to Strengthen Public Financial Management in Pacific

The Asian Development Bank and the Government of Australia have approved an additional $2.39 million in technical assistance support to continue public sector management reforms in the Pacific as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ADB Launches Transport Strategy for Pacific

13 Jul 2021 | News Release

ADB Launches Transport Strategy for Pacific

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a new strategy to help ADB’s Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) improve connectivity and tackle other core development challenges across the Pacific over the next 5 years.