Fiji is one of the most developed of the Pacific Island economies. However, it still remains a developing country with a large subsistence agricultural sector. It relies very heavily on its sugar industry, as well as its travel and tourism and fishing industries. Sugar exporting makes up one-third of the country’s industrial activity, and that, along with a growing tourism industry, are Fiji’s major sources of foreign exchange. There are approximately 250,000 tourists visiting the islands each year, though political uncertainty, drought and other natural disasters have contributed to considerable fluctuations in earnings from both the tourism and sugar industries. There have also been less skilled workers immigrating to Fiji.
Because of the islands’ tropical South Pacific location, Fiji consists of various rich natural resources, including abundant water bodies, rainforests and excellent mineral resources. These resources are very useful for economic reasons as well. Many edible fish swim near the coastal areas of the islands, including sailfish, barracuda, big-eyed and dog tooth tuna, numerous species of marlin fish and many others, so fishing is a large and very important economic aspect in Fiji. This is also good for its tourism industry, since Fiji has a number of fishing programs to entertain its visitors. Because of its mineral resources, gold is another important export industry, though it is facing some problems as well.
The country also has extensive mahogany timber reserves. However, these have recently started to become exploited. Some other export crops include ginger and coconuts, though both of their production levels are declining. Another industry that has declined in Fiji is its textile industry due to the end of the quota system under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) and the full integration of textiles into WTO General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs. Profits from the textile industry had dropped by 47% in 2005 after the end of the ATC quotas. Now garments make up approximately 12% of the country’s exports.
A more successful industry is the export of the Fiji Still Mineral Water, which, since 2000, is primarily imported into the United States. By the end of 2006, the industry had taken in about $52 million per year, a 775% increase since 2000.
Fiji Currency and Banks
Like the U.S., the Fiji currency is known as “dollar,” which is divided into one hundred cents. The Fijian dollar is generally indicated by the same symbol that is used with the American dollar, though to distinguish the two, FJ$ is sometimes used for the Fijian dollar. The currency code for it is FJD.
Approximately two Fijian dollars equals one American dollar.
There are a number of banks operating in the country, its most important banks being the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Colonial Fiji Ltd, Bank of Baroda and various others.
The Reserve Bank of Fiji is located in the capital city of Suva. Some of its responsibilities include the issuing of banknotes and coins, exchange of currency, control over the currency supply and so on. A few of this bank’s departments are financial marketing, financial institutions and currency, corporate service and the economic department.
The National Bank of Fiji (also known as The Colonial National Bank) was established in 1976 and has the maximum number of branches for the country. It used to serve only the native Fijian population, but now it is one of the major banks of Fiji.
The Bank of Baroda-Fiji is another of the major banks that is operating in the country.
Fiji’s infrastructure, which is favorable for further economic growth, includes its electricity, water supply, transportation and some other aspects.
Electricity is a very important part of the Fiji infrastructure and is controlled and distributed by the Fiji Electricity Authority. Almost all areas in the country have access to electricity, but now there is more of a need and demand for it so many other electricity producers are being encouraged to participate in the Fijian electricity business. The country’s main sources of electricity include water and diesel.
Fiji’s water supply is well-maintained and looked after by the public service department of the government. Almost all of the country’s population has access to freshwater through its piped water supply.
The country has an excellent transportation system. One form is its road transportation system, in which all of its major cities and towns are interconnected. The international airports and water ferry system are also popular modes of transportation in Fiji.
Fiji Real Estate
Real estate in Fiji also plays an important role in the country’s economy. There are many houses, homes, hotels, resorts and other real estate properties for sale in Fiji. The numerous real estate agents and firms, such as Resort Homes, Harbor Property Service, Country Real Estate Ltd and 20th Century Real Estate, make the real estate process simple. The properties can also be found on many of Fiji’s exotic locations, so real estate in Fiji can be interesting as well.
The following are a few of the real estate properties that have been up for sale on the islands:
The Koro Seaview Estate is a vast real estate property that is located on the exotic and beautiful island of Koro. It contains a place for housing, and there is a lovely beach within it. It is also near the international airport and the government ferry.
The Private Garden Villa is an exquisite home in Fiji and includes two spacious bedrooms, a dining room, sitting rooms and a bathroom. Along with the beauty of the property, it is also located in a very scenic area.