Prof Naidu: Fiji needs to diversify economy

Professor in Governance and Development Studies,Vijay Naidu speaks to The Fiji Times in an earlier interview. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

Fiji needs to collectively look at how to diversify the economy to avoid a situation proverbially called “too many eggs in one basket”, says academic Prof Vijay Naidu.

He made this comment during RESET FIJI in Suva last weekend, an initiative aimed to provide a platform for robust discussions around ideas, innovations and solutions.

“The role of the State has been re-asserted as being very critical,” Prof Naidu said.

The rules of the game in which the economy thrives, he said, was important that the State looked at the available regulatory framework.

He said in Fiji’s case, the economy was heavily dependent on two sectors.

“In the past it was the sugar sector and agriculture to a lesser extent.

“Increasingly, since the 1970s tourism has become the major source of foreign exchange.

“Tourism has done very well, thankfully, and we have also become a remittance dependent economy, that has been very important.

“COVID-19 has actually affected both these major sources of revenue.”

He said plans to use tourism revenue to diversify the rest of the economy in the 1970s needed to be completed.

“I think my view is, belatedly we are realising it, and we have gone back to agriculture, to the primary sector, to seek some kind of growth there and diversification.”

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