June 5, 2009

ADB predicts worse than expected economic decline, Vanuatu benefits from Fiji’s loss

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 20:50
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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


May 6, 2009

Regime to take PR program overseas

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 12:11
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UNCONFIRMED reports say Voreqe Bainimarama’s regime is about to extend its public relations offensive offshore.

Sources within the regime say diplomats and sympathetic politicians will be dispatched to selected islands in the Pacific.

With Bainimarama abolishing the island’s constitution and the island nation’s membership of the Pacific Islands Forum suspended, regime envoys will be out to make peace with its neighbours.

Polynesia will not be their first call given Samoan Prime Minister Sailele Tuilaepa’s strong criticism of Bainimarama and his military government.

Fiji – using its roving ambassador and former foreign secretary Ross Ligairi and other other senior diplomats—will look westward first, to its Melanesian neighbours of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Ligairi’s former foreign minister now appointed by Bainimarama as Vice President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau is also expected to become part of the PR initiative. – fiji uncensored

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