Building Solid Foundations and Resilience for Fiji's Economy | Asian Development Bank

Building Solid Foundations and Resilience for Fiji's Economy

Article | 11 January 2019

ADB's new country partnership strategy for Fiji will revolve around three tenets: promoting private sector investment and growth; broadening access to quality services and economic opportunities; and building resilience natural disasters and reducing economic volatility.

Suva, Fiji - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been supporting Fiji since 1970, focusing on the promotion of inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. These goals are being advanced through investments in transport infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, disaster recovery, and public sector management.

ADB's new partnership strategy for the country will revolve around three tenets: promoting private sector investment and growth; broadening access to quality services and economic opportunities; and building resilience to natural disasters and reducing economic volatility.

What is the economic outlook for Fiji?

We expect stable economic growth – in the past, this was around 3 per cent. Fiji has just formed a new government, which is the same government they had before the elections, with a cabinet consisting mostly of the same ministers.

So, we expect continued economic reforms and economic growth to be also stable like we had in the past.

What are the issues facing Fiji?

One of the issues the country is facing is how to promote private investments. In general, investments are stagnant, as the public sector has been driving the economy in recent years.

However, private sector investment is crucial to achieve fiscal consolidation and improve the economy's sustainability. ADB is helping Fiji improve the investment environment and the crucial infrastructure that can catalyze private sector investment.

ADB is helping Fiji improve the investment environment and the crucial infrastructure that can catalyze private sector investment.

How is ADB assisting Fiji's development?

ADB is preparing a new country partnership strategy for Fiji covering the period 2019 to 2023. This is based on three pillars. The first pillar is the promotion and facilitation of private sector investments, which I already mentioned.

The second pillar is the development of more inclusiveness in the country's economic agenda, which means broader access to economic and social services.

The third pillar is about building resilience in the fiscal sector and in the country's infrastructure. Fiji is a small country that is vulnerable to natural disasters, so building resilience is very important for the country's prospects.

In 2019, ADB will host its annual meeting in Fiji. What is the significance of this event for Fiji and the rest of the Pacific?

This is a very important event for Fiji. We expect 3,000 plus delegates, making it one of the biggest events in Fiji and the South Pacific.

It will be an opportunity for ADB to showcase what was achieved through our cooperation with our partners in the South Pacific. Also, it will be an ideal forum to identify opportunities for further growth in the entire Pacific region. 

How will ADB assistance to Fiji and the rest of the Pacific evolve in the future?

For sure, ADB will continue to provide basic support to Fiji. This means that building infrastructure and improving public sector management will continue. Further on, however, we will strengthen our partnerships with various institutions, including the government and regional organizations. This will allow us to strengthen regional integration and cooperation in the South Pacific, which is one of the issues we have been working on.

Among the Pacific island countries, Fiji is a relatively well-developed and advanced economy. From Fiji, we will be able to work with smaller and less-developed countries from across the region. Our work in Fiji will also benefit neighboring countries.