SUVA, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The South Pacific island nation of Fiji is now carrying out some reforms to attract more foreign investment, a Fijian minister said on Thursday.
According to a Fijian government statement, speaking at the re-opening of the newly renovated TOTAL service station in Lautoka, Fiji's second largest city on Thursdsay, Fiji's Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya said that Fiji's current Foreign Investment Act is under review and the new act will streamline a number of processes, eliminate the difference between the domestic and foreign investors.
"This investment is very timely, given that the Fijian government is currently undertaking a number of reforms, which includes the review of current Foreign Investment Act," he said.
"The new investment act once in place will allow for streamlining of a number of processes, eliminate the difference between the domestic and foreign investors and accord internationally recognized rights such as the Most Favoured Nation and the National Treatment."
With these reforms, Investment Fiji, supported by its Trade Commissions, will significantly realign its focus on marketing Fiji as a destination for targeted investment, he said, adding that specifically, Fiji is looking at areas such as green growth and technology for sustainable development in a post pandemic era.
According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), the nation's central bank, Fiji's economy is expected to contract by 21.7 percent in 2020 mainly due to poor tourism activity and its knock-on effects to the rest of the economy.
The RBF said recently that the spill-over of the COVID-19 pandemic has trickled down to the domestic economy given Fiji's interconnectedness to the global economy that is deeply dependent on the movement of goods and people.
Investment spending in the island nation is also forecast to fall to around 12.8 percent of GDP, from an average of around 20 percent in the preceding three years. Private investment projects are likely to be halted or delayed given the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook and resumption of global travel while there will be challenges on the government funded capital projects due to limited fiscal space. Enditem