Mini Budget 2022

Economic recovery underway: Sayed-Khaiyum

March 24, 2022 9:32 pm

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the government is proud to report that the recovery of the Fijian economy is underway.

While announcing the revised special budget in parliament tonight, Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that all preliminary data and partial indicators show that the economy is on track to record the highest growth rate in Fiji’s history.

“VAT collections, imports of consumption goods, sales for both new and second hand vehicles, retail sales and overall consumption spending and business activity are roaring back to life and have recorded strong growth for the last three months.”

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Sayed-Khaiyum says sectorial performance are positive well supported by agriculture, mahogany, forestry and the manufacturing sectors.

He adds employment has also been on an upward trend for the past six months as 25, 00 jobs were added in the formal sector and similar number in the informal sector.

The Minister says visitor arrivals for the first three months since the border opened last December are approximately 50, 000.

He says this is 1000% more than the comparable period one year ago.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the numbers ahead even look better.

“Forward look indicators such as airlines and hotel bookings from April this year show strong numbers approaching pre-COVID level of tourism.”

He stressed that on July 16th 2021 when the government announced the budget for this year, Fiji’s progress to recovery could be measured in single digits as less than nine percent of the Fijian population had received both doses of the vaccine

Sayed-Khaiyum says they chose to utilize the millions of doses of vaccine secured for Fiji to vaccinate the population, to avoid Fiji being a dark and desponded country.

Fiji was the first country in the region to introduce the ‘No Jab, No Job’ policy which Sayed-Khaiyum says was a success.

“We chose better. Not through some single sweeping decision but day by day, step by step and hand in hand with every Fijian. We kept to the vision of Fiji that would control the pandemic. We saw well beyond the single days headline. We saw beyond the likes, and views and attention on social media that became the obsession about detractors.”

The Minister says Fiji earned the support of all willing partners and institutions in the world with its prudent and practical policy responses.