27 Sep 2005

Fiji finance ministry says debt will be 54pc of GDP within three years

10:24 am on 27 September 2005

Fiji's finance ministry says the government's debt is expected to rise to 54 per cent of the gross domestic product in the next three years, up from 50.5 per cent in 2004.

The Fiji Times reports that the ministry is attributing the growth in debt level to the gloomy economic forecast for the next three years.

The finance ministry's acting chief executive, Paula Uluinaceva, says Fiji is a moderately indebted country compared with highly indebted countries which have debt levels of 70 to 80 per cent of GDP.

He says the expected increase in debt levels is the result of lack of market access for Fiji exports, the expected loss in sugar export income and global economic forces.

Mr Uluinaceva says the debt level is not going to decrease in the next five years and the government is projecting its budget deficit to grow by three or four percent in the coming year.