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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015

Sweet success of islands’ agricultural economy Sugar cane farming, fishing, tourism and gold mining are the mainstays of Fiji’s economy, but the government wants to ensure that growth won’t damage the environment In a recent speech, Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe ‘Frank’ Bainimarama spoke to other Pacific island leaders of the need to use a new development model for the region – one that focuses on sustainability above all else. “We must overhaul our economies in a way that links economic growth and environmental protection,” he said in May, setting out his intention to build “green economies in which the driver of growth is more intelligent, more effective and has the common interests of all citizens in mind”. Encouragement of private investment into the economy is a particular focus, with the government currently reviewing economic policy to ensure that foreign investors see the country as attractive, with minimal bureaucracy for businesses to negotiate. Fiji currently ranks 81 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. Speaking at the end of July, Faiyaz Koya, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, said: “Our vision is to make Fiji the financial hub of the Pacific, but we cannot be a financial hub unless the proper and prudent financial regulatory environment is in place.” He continued: “Growth in the financial sector is attributed to the confidence of Fijians and foreign investors in the Fijian government and our sound and stable Yvette Battenberg © Maksym Kozlenko CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons In Focus Fiji Above: The market in Sigatoka, on the island of Viti Levu. Opposite: Feeding time at an aquaculture farm four 52 l www.global -br ief ing.org th quar ter 2015 global


Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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