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Economics Of Fiji Essay

1550 words - 7 pages

Fiji is a group of volcanic islands in the South Pacific. The archipelago consists nearly of 900 islands and islets. Around 106 are permanently inhabited. The largest island, Viti Levu, covers about 57 % of the nation's land area. It also hosts the two most important cities, Suva, and Lautoka. Most other major towns contain around 70% of the population. Vanua Levu, north of Viti Levu, covers a little over 30 % of the land area and holds 15% of the population. The two main islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1300 meters. Fiji gets a lot of rain per year and the tropical rain forests that developed on these mountains flourish. The lowlands on the western portions of each of the main ...view middle of the document...

Tourists will always come to the beautiful country and Fiji and when tourists come, straight profit is coming into the country (Fiji 93). As on 2004, the economy was projected to grow at a whooping 4.1% compared to a prediction of 3.9%. This positive revision is strongly caused by the stimulus of tourism. With a new plan of air services from Australia and New Zealand, Fiji will now be more affordable and much more economical to visit. It is also said that within the community, social, and personal services will contribute around 2.5% to the aggregate growth rate for 2004 (Fiji 93).
The sources of tourists for Fiji are Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, etc. As shown in table below, of these countries, Australia is the single largest tourist source market followed by New Zealand and the USA. While Australia remains the most dominant source of tourists for Fiji, its share declined from 40 percent in the 1980-1988 period to 27 percent during the 1994-2001 period (Narayan 7).

Country 1980-1988 1992-2001

Australia 39.8 26.7
New Zealand 12.3 17.5
USA 18.1 14
Canada 7.8 3.6
UK 3.3 8.6
Europe 5.2 8.7
Japan 5.5 10.8
Pacific Islands 5.5 6
Others 2.5 4.1
With Fiji being one of the largest Pacific island countries, it is considered to be a “lower-middle-income” country. One major crop that plays an important role in GDP for the country of Fiji is sugarcane (Prasad 2). With more than 75% of the households in Fiji working part-time and or full-time in production of agriculture or livestock, sugarcane farming has dominated commercial activity (Prasad 3). Even though sugarcane farming has said to been declining in recent years, it still pulls in $320 million dollars a year. This is worth nearly around 13% of the GDP per year. Even though sugarcane seems to be the best thing to hit Fiji, it still encounters problem (Prasad 3). The access to land is a huge factor. Most of the land that is used to harvest sugarcane is not owned by companies or households (Prasad 4). They are rented on 30 year leases by banks and the government. The workers of these fields can only nearly work and never have a say to regulate the fields. Although this may cause problems within the growth rate and GDP, Fiji continues to prosper and the numbers improve for years to come (Prasad 4).
A problem that faces Fiji is the poverty that takes place. This opposite side that economists use states that poverty strategies are unlikely to take place and succeed if a country is unable to achieve significant economic growth (Kumar 1). Several sources have reaffirmed the relationship between economic growth and poverty. Fiji’s growth rate over the last 30 years has been irregular, lopsided, and is too minimal for any reduction to take place. Nevertheless, this source proclaims that the prospect for growth in Fiji is diminishing quickly (Kumar 1). One important factor that comes into play is that Fiji has experienced severe political disturbances. This affect resulted in the...

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