4 Nov 2005

Fiji business group says fear of political instability discouraging investors

9:29 am on 4 November 2005

The Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the fear of political instability is discouraging investor confidence.

The Fiji Times quotes the Chamber president, Taito Waradi, as saying the nation's two major political parties are constantly at loggerheads with each other.

Mr Waradi says investors want predictability so they can accurately plan and project their growth, but this is not happening because of the political climate.

He says before the 1987 Rabuka coups, the contribution of the private sector to investment was 11 per cent of the GDP.

Afterwards it fell to 7.5 per cent, was down to three per cent in 2001 and has now recovered slightly to five per cent of GDP.

Mr Waradi says this has forced the government to step in as the driver of the economy, forcing up public debt levels to an unsustainable 51 per cent of the GDP.

Mr Waradi says this is a picture of a "regime living beyond its means" and the government must address this issue.

The comments come just ahead of the announcement of the 2006 national budget in parliament this morning.