Investment slow-paced, skills shortage worry, high cost of living, red tape and low economic growth a concern – Ariff Ali

Investment slow-paced, skills shortage worry, high cost of living, red tape and low economic growth a concern – Ariff Ali

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 25/06/2024
[Image: File]

As we await the announcement of the 2024/2025 National Budget, there are clear indications that a lot of work needs to be done as the Macroeconomic Committee has highlighted that investment is slow-paced, we continue to have a major worry on skills shortage, high cost of living, red tape and low economic growth rate.

While pipeline projects look promising for Fiji, the committee says investment activity is slow-paced in our country due to several challenges, such as high building and material costs, skill shortages and red tape.

The committee chaired by Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Ariff Ali says apart from the surprisingly strong growth in tourist arrivals up to April and higher gold output due to the start of production at Tuvatu Gold Mine, other sector outcomes are performing below par.

Despite the buoyant inflow of remittances and higher incomes, growth in consumption spending has moderated largely due to the notable number of Fijian citizens migrating abroad, most of them whom are skilled and semi-skilled workers (around 15 percent of the total labour force).

It has been earlier stated that more than 70,000 people have left Fiji.

The outturn in the economy has also been impacted by elevated cost of living as inflation went up to 7.1 percent in April 2024 and lower than expected Government expenditure, the latter affected by capacity constraints.

Ali adds the Fiji economy started 2024 on a softer note than anticipated as evidenced by partial indicators.

The latest available data and weaker incoming forward-looking information have led to a downward revision to Fiji’s 2024 GDP growth forecast to 2.8 percent from 3.4 percent projected in November 2023.

The revised forecast takes into account the possible increase in Government expenditure in the 2024-2025 National Budget to boost the economy.

The other key sectors to contribute towards this growth include the financial, agriculture, transport, accommodation, wholesale and retail sales, manufacturing, information and communication, electricity, construction, mining and administration sectors.

GDP projections for 2025 and 2026 are broadly unchanged from last November, with economic activity forecast to strengthen slightly and hover around the pre-pandemic growth trend of 3 percent.

Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside and include heightened geopolitical tensions, continued loss of labour due to migration, delayed regulatory approvals, rising cost of doing business and the constant threat of climate change and natural disasters.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad will deliver the 2024/2025 National Budget at 10am Friday.

Click here for more Budget 2024-2025 stories

FEATURE NEWS
AIDS related deaths increase from 49 in 2022 to 82 in 2023
The issue of HIV/AIDS continues to rise as shocking statistics revealed by the UNDP, highlighted the increase of AIDS related deaths with 49 in 2022 a...
8 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Professor Baba was revolutionary, not only in education but in politics and public life - Prof. Shameem
The late Professor Tupeni Baba was a giant of an intellect and this is what made him stand out among the academics not only in Fiji and the Pacific ...
4 hours ago

MOE exploring the use of test-kits in school - Radrodro
Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro says the Ministry is exploring some initiatives, such as having drug test kits in schools to counter the ...
8 hours ago

22,800 MSME's are paying about $59m taxes annually - FRCS CEO
There are about 117,000 Micro, Small and Medium businesses in Fiji out of which around 22,800 businesses are paying taxes amounting to around $59 ...
8 hours ago

Upgraded farm Road in Natawa village will boost agricultural efficiency
Farmers and residents of Natawa Village in Vaturu, located in the highlands of Ba, are set to benefit from the recent upgrade of their farm road that ...
10 hours ago

Upgraded farm Road in Natawa village will boost agricultural efficiency
Farmers and residents of Natawa Village in Vaturu, located in the highlands of Ba, are set to benefit from the recent upgrade of their farm road that ...
11 hours ago



fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
yb
IN DEPTH
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance
2024-2025 National Budget address by the Minister for Finance Prof. Biman Prasad. 2024-2025 Budget ...
12 days ago

Crisis within FijiFirst that led to its deregistration
The FijiFirst Party has been de-registered by the Registrar of Political Parties, Ana Mataiciwa. This is the end of the party that led government ...
16 days ago

Pre-Budget 2024-2025
Pre Budget 2024-2025 budget recommendations and an insight of what people on the ground wish to see in the National Budget
22 days ago

TOP