Discussions are in progress for cooperation between Australia and Fiji in building more schools and also constructing additional classrooms for the schools in the Greater Suva-Nausori area.
The discussions were held in a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad and Australia’s Minister for Finance, Minister for Women and Minister for the Public Service Katy Gallagher and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the Government in the Senate Penny Wong in Canberra, Australia.
This is due to the drastic rise in the population in the Suva-Nausori area.
Professor Prasad says capacity in classrooms is a big issue which needs urgent attention.
During the meeting, Professor Prasad thanked the Australian Government for its excellent support to Fiji and the critical role played during the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 pandemic in financing its economic development.
The Deputy Prime Minister also mentioned that fiscal consolidation is at the heart of the medium-term fiscal strategy by the Coalition Government, supported by revenue reforms and complemented by a major restraint on overall public expenditures, including reprioritisation of fiscal resources to better achieve our socio-economic and other development goals.
He says apart from fiscal consolidation, a private sector-led economic rejuvenation is also an important pillar to ensure sustainable economic growth which is critical to put the debt-to-GDP ratio on a consistent downward path, complementing the planned fiscal deficit reductions.
He further says, however, this requires a number of structural reforms to ensure private sector growth and development are supported.
Professor Prasad emphasised that the greatest need at the moment is having climate-resilient infrastructure and maintenance of our hospitals, health centres, schools, public buildings, government quarters, roads and bridges and water is critical for the government.
He also added that a much more deeper and meaningful regional integration can come through a visa-free PIF region.
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