The World Bank is predicting a very strong economic growth for Fiji in the next five years.

World Bank senior economist for Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Faya Hayati said this growth would be the fastest in the entire period since 1980.

“The IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank, both project Fiji to grow about five per cent per year, we’re about 5.3 per cent and IMF was a little bit higher,” Mr Hayati said.

“That puts Fiji roughly in the 88 percentiles in the world so that means they’re going faster than 88 per cent of the countries and only about 10 per cent of the countries that are growing faster.

“And for context, other island states are growing at about three per cent per year, Fiji is growing at about five per cent, so Fiji is doing considerably well,” Mr Hayati said.

“So, we are already predicting a very strong recovery and economic growth for Fiji over the next five years.”

However, that economic growth was not the solution for Fiji’s debt problem.

“With that economic projection, we expect Fiji’s debt to go to 97 per cent of debt to GDP (gross domestic product).

“It not only doesn’t come back down to 80 per cent, it goes up.

“So, the business-as-usual economic scenario doesn’t even stop that from increasing, it still sees debt increasing over the next eight years or so.

“What that tells you is that growth is not the solution.”

Mr Hayati said the debt issue could only be addressed if revenues were increased and expenditures decreased.


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