ADB: 6.3% economic growth projected for Fiji

Photo: Tourism Fiji

Growth in the South Pacific economy of Fiji is projected to reach 6.3% in 2023 and moderate to 3% in 2024, according to a new economic report released today by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2023, the latest edition of ADB’s flagship economic report, says tourism led a strong recovery in Fiji in 2022, boosted by visitors who stayed longer and spent more. The ADO April 2023 says tourism will continue as the main driver of growth for Fiji in 2023, building on its success against intense competition from other regional tourist destinations, such as Indonesia and Thailand. Fiji’s outlook is boosted by plans to increase arrivals from North America, with the national airline aiming to expand direct flight connections beyond Los Angeles and San Francisco. Direct flights to Japan and Hong Kong, China are also resuming this month.

“To maintain growth momentum and encourage diversification, Fiji will need to put in place proactive labour market policies to address rising shortages of semi-skilled and skilled workers,” said Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office in Fiji Aaron Batten.

“Increased emigration is helping to boost remittances to record levels and provide an economic safety net to many Fijian families. However, the private sector is reporting rising difficulties in attracting sufficiently qualified staff to fill their business needs. To address these challenges, Fiji can continue to enhance its focus on training and skills development, job-matching programs, and initiatives to boost labour force participation rates.

The report says the positive effects of government spending, as well as the boost in tourism and remittances, spilled over into transport and wholesale and retail trade. Credit from commercial banks also increased as confidence in the economy strengthened. Lower inflation is expected in 2023 at 4.2% and in 2024 at 3.5%, in line with easing global commodity prices.