A brighter future for our nation requires our communities to be united and move away from divisions, and we all know what those divisions have done to us.
This was Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka’s message to the delegates attending the National Economic Summit at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
Rabuka who is under doctor’s orders to rest for a few days says he decided that it was very important to be present at the summit given the significance of the summit not only to the coalition government but to the nation as a whole.
He says reshaping our future means more than just promoting economic growth and development.
Rabuka says let us all come together to build a nation of enduring unity and prosperity.
He adds on many occasions they have declared that they in government are the people’s servants and not their masters.
Rabuka says it is their obligation to treat everyone with humility and fairness.
He says the summit is the implementation of the commitment to genuine dialogue and consultation with all the stakeholders.
Rabuka says inclusivity lies at the heart of the coalition’s strong belief in a transparent and accountable leadership.
He also says that we all agree that we face many daunting challenges that we must collectively address.
He says the summit is historic because the last summit of this kind was held 15 years ago in 2008.
Rabuka says it is also timely taking into account the need for our country to take stock, make the necessary changes and decisively move forward.
The Prime Minister says apart from the current unsustainable national debt level, we also have to be mindful of the geopolitical and global economic environment.
As a small, island developing state, Rabuka says we are vulnerable to such events which are beyond our control.
He says it is critical that we must make timely adjustments so that we can cope and be able to survive in the global trading environment.
Rabuka adds we have just been through one of the world’s worst pandemics of modern times, with COVID-19.
He says it affected the whole world, and was more devastating for Small Island Developing economies like Fiji.
The Prime Minister says the Russian-Ukrainian War in Europe made our efforts to recover from the pandemic more challenging particularly due to the supply-chain issues.
He says we must address these challenges collectively through this summit, and craft solutions together as a nation.
Rabuka adds we need to strengthen our laws and institutions, we need to restore investor confidence and improve the business environment and at the same time, protect our natural resources, we need to rebuild our infrastructure which has been neglected, and most importantly look at ways to ease the burden of the high cost of living for our people.
He also says we need to strengthen the private sector which is called the engine of growth.
Rabuka says it is important to promote trade and build the confidence of the private sector.
He also says at the same time we must continue to strengthen both multilateral and bilateral relations with our trading and development partners.
The Prime Minister says the coalition government strongly believes that addressing these priorities head-on is the cornerstone to building a progressive and prosperous nation for our future generations.
He says he is sure that with our collective knowledge and wisdom, we will be able to develop practical and lasting solutions, to improve the lives of our people.
He is confident that the findings and recommendations from this summit will contribute to the formulation of the National Budget and our National Development Plan.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations