More private sector investment is needed to sustain growth and create jobs in Fiji, Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Mr Bambang Susantono, told participants attending the Pacific Update Conference 2016.
The two day Pacific Update Conference is hosted by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Faculty of Business and Economics in collaboration with the ADB, Asian Development Bank Institute and the Australian National University at the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre from 18 to 19 July 2016.
“Over the past six years, Fiji has experienced one of its longest periods of sustained, growth since 1970, propelled by accommodative fiscal and monetary policy, as well as wide-ranging structural reforms,” said Mr. Susantono.
“To maintain this momentum, Fiji now needs to encourage more private investment and to provide opportunities for all sectors of society to benefit from growth,” he added.
At the conference, attended by Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Mr Susantono discussed findings of a recent ADB country diagnostic study, Fiji – Building Inclusive Institutions for Sustained Growth, which identifies key constraints to inclusive growth and suggests policy options for addressing them.
The study notes that Fiji’s rapid economic growth can only be sustained with reforms that provide an enabling environment for private business to start and operate in, address gaps in infrastructure, remove barriers to access finance and tackle a lack of productive job opportunities. The government is already implementing policy actions to address many of these constraints, but as it pursues further reforms it should consult regularly with the private sector and stakeholders to ensure their support.
The Pacific Update Conference is an annual event that brings together policymakers, academics and researchers, the private sector, and development practitioners to discuss policy issues of pressing importance to countries in the Pacific region.