The Economic Activity of Fiji
The economy of Fiji Islands relies heavily on the sugar industry, tourism and fisheries. Sugar exports account for 25% of the total export revenues followed by the export of garments, gold, fish and mineral water. Fiji is one of the world’s largest exporters of sugar, making its economy more developed in the Pacific region. This is, however, before the effects of two decades of coup d’etat had taken a toll on the country’s overall development. The coups resulted in economic slowdown, compounded by emigration of professionals and natural calamities.
The government has started implementing a number of projects that could effectively address economic problems. These include the 20-Year Development, starting in 2002 that would provide indigenous Fijians with a share in the economy, and protect indigenous land and fishery rights in the country. The plans would also give tax relief to businesses owned or operated by ethnic Fijians. Also launched by the government is the 20-Year Plan for the local coconut industry for the purpose of producing virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil for export to overseas health markets and to produce commercial fuel from coconut oil. In 2005, the government also approved a proposal to develop a bio-fuels industry or ethanol production, to help lessen the country’s dependence on expensive imports of fossil fuels to keep local industries moving.
With the country gifted with rich natural resources such as abundant water bodies, mineral resources, rainforests, mahogany timber and various edible fishes—which are all useful for the economy, the government hopes to regain its place as one of the more developed economies in the Pacific.