Protecting Fiji’s ‘fragile’ economy

Members of the public during the 2022/2023 pre-budget consultations at the Nadi Civic Centre. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Government has to ensure that it protects the fragile and hard fought recovery of the Fijian economy.

While speaking at a 2022-2023 pre-budget consultation in Lautoka on Tuesday, Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Government had to anticipate future risks that could affect the economy.

“We have a number of risks,” he said.

“We know what’s happened to the economy, we know what’s going to happen with the tourism numbers.”

He said one such threat to Fiji’s economy was the ongoing Ukrainian and Russian war.

“We don’t know whether it’s going to expand. There’s recently now another skirmish up in the North West in a place called Kaliningrad which is a Russian area and it’s sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, and Russia is threatening to put some kind of sanction against them.

“That is something that we don’t know and we can’t control.

“The second thing we can’t control is climate change.” He said natural disasters continued to pose a threat to Fiji’s economy each year.

“Every cyclone season, we get at least one cyclone.

“Recently we had Cyclone Cody. A small cyclone, but it rained so much that if you went to Kabisi at that time there was a big hole in the highway.

“All of these are unanticipated costs because nobody knows how much damage there will be.

“These are the kinds of dynamics that is completely out of our control and we have to anticipate it and see what we can do around that.” The 2022-2023 National Budget will be announced on July 15.

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