$2.6bn to revive Fijian economy during COVID-19 pandemic

Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Ariff Ali chats with a delegate at the Fiji New Zealand and New Zealand Fiji Business Councils joint conference in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Reserve Bank of Fiji injected about $1.6 billion into the banking system during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Ariff Ali.

He made the comments while speaking at the Fiji New Zealand and New Zealand Fiji Business Councils 2022 Joint Conference yesterday.

He said RBF also invested in Government bonds worth $650 million.

“The way to revive the economy after the recession and depression is for governments to spend,” he said.

“Governments should kick-start the economy by spending. This is what the rest of the world did, like New Zealand and Australia did.

“So far the last two years, Government has had larger deficits.”

Mr Ali said the sharp rise in the debt to GDP in the past two years was because of the significant contraction in the economy.

“We at the Reserve Bank injected about $1.6bn into the system, this was to ensure that there is no pressure on lending rates.

“We had a number of facilities and we injected about $1bn in the facilities like import substitution facility, export facility, disaster recovery facility as well as housing facility.

“We also invested in Government bonds which was $650m

“This is the only crisis in the last 50 years in Fiji where the interest rates have actually come down.”

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