THE Asian Development Bank says Fiji is likely to experience a worse than expected decline in economic growth.
Speaking on ABC radio this week, ADB’s Pacific economist Craig Sugden said there was always the knowledge that Fiji would face problems, especially with floods earlier this year, but they did not understand how severe these would be.
“[The contraction] are a bit bigger than we had expected. In addition, the political developments in March are a negative, in that they seem to [have] deferred some tourists. So overall, we’re expecting a significant contraction,” Sugden said.
“The latest official projection is a contraction and -0.3 per cent. We’re looking at a noticeably larger contraction.”
Sugden said Fiji’s loss in tourism was Vanuatu’s gain. “Vanuatu had developed a good economic management last year, built around tourism and real state development. And we expected that to continue into this year, albeit at a slightly lower rate.
“But what has happened has been the problems in Fiji Islands appear to be a positive for Vanuatu, so tourists instead of going to Fiji are going to Vanuatu and we’re now seeing quite a marked increased in tourism numbers, which will keep the economy going much faster than we originally expected.” – fiji uncensored