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Fiji's economy 'to contract by 21.7 percent
05:16 am GMT+12, 10/08/2020, Fiji

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

Fiji’s economy is expected to contract by 21.7 per cent as the economic impact of coronavirus devastates the Pacific region.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat senior economic adviser Denton Rarawa told an online workshop the region is dealing with multiple challenges due to the slowdown in economic activities, trade and exports, as well as a loss of jobs and a decline in inward remittance flows.

He said while some countries will rebound next year, others will continue to report negative growth for sometime.

He said tourism dependent countries like Fiji are the most affected, losing up to 40 per cent of economic activity.

“The closure of borders and the restrictions on travel has forced many hotels and resorts especially the small and medium size operations to close down or scale down their operations.”

“Many resort owners have laid off their workers. The belief is that it will take many years before the tourism sector in the region recovers from the impacts of coronavirus pandemic.”

Rarawa said the pandemic is also having a negative effect on fishing activities, fish processing, sales of fish products and employment.

He said income from sales and exports, a drop in fishing licence fees and the laying off of fishermen are all having a critical impact on countries that depend on the fisheries sector.

He said the closure of ports and restrictions on the movements of vessels, especially fishing vessels, is also having an impact on the fisheries supply chain.

SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS


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