13 Oct 2004

Fiji remittances top 140 million US dollar mark

10:24 am on 13 October 2004

Remittances from Fiji nationals working abroad have reached more than 140-million US dollars a year and are rising.

The figures have been disclosed by the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, at a meeting of Fiji's heads of diplomatic missions currently under way in Suva.

Mr Qarase says remittances are now the fourth largest source of Fiji's foreign exchange earnings after tourism, garments and sugar.

More than 2-thouand Fijians are serving in the British army and more are enlisting.

Fiji nurses and caregivers are working in many countries.

Mr Qarase says large Fiji communities in Australia, New Zealand and the United States are sending savings to help support their families and paying for village and community developments.

He says Fiji must care for its nationals abroad and strengthen consular services where there are large groups of citizens.