7 Nov 2005

Fiji's business sector is mostly positive about the government budget

2:31 pm on 7 November 2005

The business sector in Fiji is reacting positively to the government's budget and calling it mostly good for the economy.

The president of the Suva Chamber of Commerce, Dr Nur Bano Ali, says there has been a real focus on helping small businesses by providing corporate tax holidays and investment write-offs.

She says the hotel industry is not that happy about the five percent tax on all hotel room rates but it still maintains its concessions and tax holidays through the investment incentives included in the budget.

Dr Ali says the exemption of value added tax on basic food items is also welcome and will provide people with money in the hand.

"We've got to allow the economy to grow. Fiji's had a series of interruptions in our business cycle and we need some continuity to be able to get back to any decent level. We're still working towards that but mind you, generally there is a lot of positivism around and we hope to continue in that direction for a while."

Dr Ali says if the economy grows, the government can tackle public debt which stands at 51 percent of gross domestic product.