26 May 2004

Fiji Reserve Bank says sustained growth needs more exports

1:54 pm on 26 May 2004

The Reserve Bank of Fiji says exports have to increase by at least 120 million US dollars a year if the country is to sustain its current growth rate of about 5 percent.

The bank's deputy governor, Sada Reddy, made the comment in response to a call by the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, to increase the growth rate to 8-percent.

Mr Qarase said 8-percent growth was achievable because other countries were doing it.

Mr Reddy says this would require increasing exports by 120-to180-million US dollars over the next two to three years.

He says recent growth rates have been built on the backs of consumption, tourism, building and construction, which rely heavily on imports.

But to achieve sustainable high growth, the export sector must grow faster than it has been doing.