SUVA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Fiji is no longer an isolated island economy but an integrated hub of economic development, a Fijian minister said on Friday.
Speaking at the launch of the 2019 Prime Minister's International Business Awards in Suva, capital of Fiji, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar said that this transformation has brought about unprecedented benefits for the island nation with a population of around 900,000.
"It has created investment opportunities, trade and economic partnerships, new jobs and continued development of our infrastructure," she said. "We have been able to capitalize on the opportunities, by creating a conducive environment for investment, supported by favorable market conditions and an educated and skilled workforce."
According to the minister, investor confidence in Fiji remains high with total investments maintaining contribution of around 25 percent to the GDP.
A total of 134 projects - both foreign and local, valued at 872.45 million Fijian dollars (about 406.9 million U.S. dollars) was implemented during the period August to April 2018/2019. This is expected to create 3,575 employment opportunities for Fijians.
The Fijian government is cognisant of the changing global landscape and it was undertaking a number of reforms on doing business processes and investment legal framework to ensure that investment remain robust.
She said the Fijian government's 5-Year and 20-Year National Development Plan (NDP) continues to transform the nation into a modern, progressive and vibrant society. Increasing private sector investment and job creation is a key objective of the NDP.
In recent years, China has increased its investment in the island nation. The minister said recently that a total of 277 Chinese investment projects in Fiji were successfully implemented over the past five years.